The companies Emalex Biosciences, Osler Diagnostics and TauRx Pharmaceuticals bagged the biggest biotech investments in November 2022. Around the world, oncology and cell therapy players attracted the biggest funding rounds.
We’re approaching the December holidays and, while lower than in 2021, biotech stocks overall have stayed relatively flat in the last few months. In the sphere of private biotech companies, there continue to be big fundraising rounds around the world.
We’ve gathered the biggest biotech investments that went to private companies around the world in November. The fundraising companies have been split into healthcare and industrial biotechnology-focused verticals.
The U.S.’ top private biotech healthcare investment went to the company Emalex Biosciences. The Chicago-based firm took home a $250 million Series D round to finance the development of small molecule drugs to treat Tourette syndrome.
In second place, the Massachusetts-based player Fog Pharmaceuticals bagged its own Series D worth $178 million to fund the development of peptide drugs to fight cancer.
In Europe, the top biotech healthcare investment round went to Osler Diagnostics in the U.K. Osler Diagnostics raised a Series C round worth $85 million as it works on a so-called ‘portable lab’ — a device that can carry out a wide range of diagnostic tests fast and cheaply.
Second place went to CatalYm in Germany. The firm specializes in the development of anti-cancer antibodies and is testing its lead candidate in clinical trials.
Topping the healthcare biotech investment list in Asia-Pacific, TauRx Pharmaceuticals raised $119 million in November. The company — based in Singapore and the U.K. — is developing a small molecule drug to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease by targeting harmful tangles of a protein called tau in the brain.
According to TauRx, the large fundraise was in part fueled by the announcement of results from a phase 3 trial in October. While TauRx claimed a promising performance of the drug, the placebo group — which was given a low dose of the same drug — had higher blood levels of the drug than expected. This means that the trial was unable to demonstrate changes in Alzheimer’s progression compared to a true placebo.
Other life sciences investments
Outside of the healthcare sector, many biotech companies raised big investments to advance research in sectors such as biomanufacturing, genomics and industrial biotechnology.
In this space, the U.S.’ biggest investment round went to the firm Elemental Machines in Massachusetts. The company bagged $41 million in a Series B round to finance the development of a cloud computational platform that helps biotech companies to analyze data using artificial intelligence.
In Europe, the Scottish firm Roslin Technologies led the rankings. The startup’s $12.3 million Series A round will be used to finance its food technology research. Roslin Technologies is working on ways to improve food security around the world by developing cultured meat in addition to insect protein.
Two firms came close to topping the ranks in the Asia-Pacific region. In first place came Cataya Bio, a Chinese synthetic biology company that took home $13.9 million in a Series A round. Cataya is researching sustainable ways to manufacture products in a wide range of sectors including nutrition, medicine and personal care.
Edging in second, the Chinese firm Kairui Biotech raised $13.7 million. The firm is developing cell culture media that don’t require animal serum. This could reduce the costs and boost the sustainability of many biomanufacturing processes such as vaccine manufacturing and antibody production.
Aside from private funding rounds, the biotech industry saw some encouraging moments in the last few weeks. One was positive phase 3 results from lecanemab, an antibody drug developed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease by Eisai and Biogen. Others were the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a gene therapy for hemophilia B and the first microbiome therapeutic to be greenlit by the FDA.
As we power towards the end of 2022, we’ll likely be seeing more big funding rounds from a buoyed biotech industry.