October 12th 2022: Article updated to remove incorrect Pharnext funding round from the text.
The companies Acelyrin, InnovaFeed and Arsenal Biosciences bagged the biggest biotech investments in September 2022, with insect protein and cell therapies attracting big funding rounds.
Autumn is in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere. After a breather in August 2022, September saw the return of big fundraising activity for biotech companies.
We’ve gathered the biggest biotech investments that went to private companies around the world in September, split into healthcare and industrial biotechnology-focused verticals.
The U.S.’ top private biotech healthcare investment went to the Los Angeles company Acelyrin. The firm bagged $300 million to finance the phase 3 development of a small molecule drug to treat the inflammatory diseases psoriatic arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis. In second place, the San Francisco-based firm Arsenal Biosciences raised $220 million in Series B cash to drive the development of CAR-T cell therapies for solid tumors.
In Europe, the top biotech healthcare investment round went to SparingVision in France. SparingVision raised an investment round worth over $75 million to fund the clinical development of gene therapies for ocular diseases.
Topping the healthcare biotech investment list in Asia-Pacific, the Indian firm Molbio Diagnostics raised $85 million. The company manufactures a portable PCR system that can be used in remote and inaccessible regions to rapidly diagnose a range of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, COVID-19, hepatitis, HIV, HPV and malaria. The Chinese firm Worg Pharmaceuticals came in second, harnessing a $58 million Series B round to fund the development of immunotherapies for allergies.
Other biotech and life sciences investments
Outside of the healthcare sector, biotech companies raised big investments to advance technology that shores up food security and the circular economy.
In this space, the biggest investment round in the U.S. went to Prolific Machines. The San Francisco firm bagged $42 million in combined seed and Series A funding to finance its push to develop cheap protein reagents crucial for manufacturing cultured meat. This way, the firm aims to make cultured meat economically viable.
In Europe, the French insect protein player InnovaFeed raised a Series D investment worth a huge $250 million. The company plans to use the cash to develop vertical insect farms for producing food products for animal consumption, especially in aquaculture, poultry, swine and pet food markets.
The Asia-Pacific region saw fewer industrial biotech funding rounds than Europe and the U.S. The headliner for the region was Nutrition Technologies, a Singaporean firm developing animal feed and fertilizers from black soldier fly larvae. The Indonesian startup Mycotech occupied second place with a seed round funding its quest to produce leather from a mass of fungal fragments called mycelium.
Aside from private funding rounds, there were big moments in the biotech industry in September. One biotech investment highlight in the U.S. was a $1 billion round going to the public firm Verily Life Sciences to finance its business focused on precision health using big data. Another was the White House’s announcement of more than $2 billion earmarked to nurture the U.S. biotech and biomanufacturing sectors.