Antheia gets funding to build biomanufacturing plant

June 23, 2022 - 2 minutes

Antheia, a U.S. synthetic biology company enabling next-generation plant-inspired medicines, has announced $40 million in venture debt financing from Oxford Finance LLC and Silicon Valley Bank.

The company also unveiled plans to construct a new pilot scale biomanufacturing facility. 

The financing will support Antheia’s expansion with a 14,700 square-foot pilot plant located next to Antheia’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Cal. The new pilot plant will enable the company to improve efficiency and support the scale up of its portfolio of products. 

“Pilot plants are an essential component of scaling with biomanufacturing, and high-quality pilot plant capacity is increasingly scarce in the U.S.,” said Zack McGahey, chief operating officer at Antheia. 

“As we advance our entire pipeline of pharmaceutical candidates, investing in our own on-site facility will be critical for optimizing strain performance and improving efficiency as we move to industrial scale production.” 

The planned facility will provide Antheia with 500 liters of additional fermentation capacity to support the scale up of various active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) candidates.

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Through the new operation, the company expects two to four months of time savings per run, improved customer engagement through accelerated sampling and validation timelines, and increased utilization rates. Antheia will begin construction in 2023 with the goal to be operational by the end of 2023.

Synthetic biology

Antheia said it aims to transform the supply chain for plant-based APIs that are critical to the development of many essential medicines, yet reliant on fragile, unpredictable, inefficient, and costly agriculture-based sources. 

Using synthetic biology, Antheia is developing several classes of plant-based APIs that can’t be manufactured through synthetic chemistry, including analgesics, neurotransmitter inhibitors, sedatives, chemotherapeutics, and antiinfectives. 

In addition to the announcement of its new pilot plant, Antheia has also joined the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM). 

The AAM was founded to improve access to safe, high-quality, and effective medicines for all.

Cover image: Shutterstock

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