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44 Thriving Biotech Companies & Startups (2024)

by Josh Howarth
December 1, 2023

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In 2021, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and other biotechnology companies released life-saving, effective vaccines to combat COVID-19.

Not only that, but they developed the drugs faster than any other vaccine in history.

This is just one example of real-life applications of the work produced in the biotechnology sector.

Novo Nordisk, Regeneron, and Alexion are some of the largest players in this industry, but other biotech startups frequently surface to tackle everything from toxic laundry detergent to gene editing.

According to Global Market Insights, biotech will swell to $775.2 billion in 2024—more than a 100% increase from 2015. There are more than a few biotech startups aiming to grab a piece of that growing market, and we’ve rounded up 44 companies to watch.

1. NotCo

5-year search growth: 967%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: Santiago, Chile

Funding: $433M (Series D)

What they do: NotCo uses AI and deep learning to eliminate the need for animals in the food production process. Their technology can analyze what plants and other natural ingredients should be mixed with to imitate the taste and texture of an animal product. NotCo’s most well-known product, NotMilk, has helped the startup be recognized in Fastcompany’s 2021 Most Innovative Companies list.

2. Precision Fermentation

5-year search growth: 5300%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Durham, NC

Funding: $12.6M (Series Unknown)

What they do:

Precision Fermentation is a biotech organization that focuses on developing software and hardware solutions for the fermentation industry. Their technology enables brewers, winemakers, and distillers to monitor and control fermentation processes, resulting in better quality products, reduced waste, and increased efficiency. Their flagship product, the BrewMonitor System, is a cloud-based fermentation monitoring system that provides real-time data and analytics to brewers, enabling them to optimize their brewing processes and produce consistent, high-quality beer.

3. Forge Biologics

5-year search growth: 7400%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2020

Location: Grove City, OH

Funding: $330M (Series C)

What they do:

Forge Biologics is focused on the end-to-end development of gene therapies, from initial idea to production. A cornerstone of their company is a 175,000-square-foot custom manufacturing and development facility they call “The Hearth.” Forge Biologics is backed by Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund and Drive Capital and is PXV Fund’s first gene therapy investment.

4. Orna Therapeutics

5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: Cambridge, MA

Funding: $321M (Series B)

What they do:

Orna Therapeutics’ business is centered on innovating and creating treatments based on circular RNA (oRNA). The company uses advanced technology to develop oRNA therapies that overcome the issues related to linear messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutic development. Orna, which sprung from research at MIT, launched in 2021 with financial backing from Taiho Ventures, MPM Capital, F2 Ventures, and others.

5. Antios Therapeutics

5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2018

Location: Atlanta, GA

Funding: $200.4M (Series B)

What they do:

Antios Therapeutics aims to treat and eliminate viral diseases like Hepatitis B through the creation of revolutionary therapy options. The leadership team includes CEO Greg Mayes, formerly of Engage Therapeutics; Chief Medical Officer Doug Mayers, MD, formerly of Cocrystal Pharma; and CFO Tamra J. Adams, founder of Accounting Concepts, Inc., a biopharmaceutical and IT accounting firm.

6. Inflammatix

5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2016

Location: Burlingame, CA

Funding: $137.8M (Grant)

What they do:

Inflammatix is a biotech startup that develops diagnostic tests to quickly identify and categorize acute infections, including sepsis and COVID-19. Using machine learning and genomic analysis, their tests measure the immune system's response to the infection and provide rapid results to help doctors make informed treatment decisions.

7. Cellarity

5-year search growth: 400%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Cambridge, MA

Funding: $294M (Series C)

What they do:

Cellarity, a biotechnology company founded in 2017 by Flagship Labs, aims to be a trailblazer in drug discovery, with a method of creating medicines that target cell behavior instead of just individual proteins. They hope to ultimately enable faster, more successful discovery of medications. According to their website, their approach has been validated in multiple disciplines, and they are putting their focus on four areas: immuno-oncology, hematology, respiratory disease, and metabolism. More recently in November 2021, the therapeutics company announced a massive $370 million founding round.

8. Maze Therapeutics

5-year search growth: 150%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: South San Francisco, CA

Funding: $381M (Series Unknown)

What they do:

Maze Therapeutics’ focus is on creating novel medicines through insights gained from further understanding of human genetics. Their goal is to help those suffering from rare ailments by understanding the genetic markers that occur in people who don’t suffer from these diseases. Financial backers of Maze Therapeutics include GV, ARCH Venture Partners, Casdin Capital, and others.

9. Hibercell

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5-year search growth: 67%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $158.2M (Series B)

What they do:

Hibercell is the first of its kind: a biotechnology company focused primarily on creating therapies that tackle the relapse and metastasis of cancer rather than initial cancer. According to their website, 90% of cancer deaths are due to cancer recurrence. The company’s co-founders, Alan Rigby, Ph.D., Ari Nowacek, M.D., Ph.D., and Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, Ph.D., hold considerable experience in medical disciplines, including oncology and neuroscience.

10. MoMa Therapeutics

 

5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2020

Location: Cambridge, MA

Funding: $236M (Series B)

What they do:

MoMa Therapeutics is a biotechnology company that aims to harness the power of molecular machines, enzymes that produce force and motion through energy, to provide better precision treatments. The startup, backed by venture capital firm Third Rock Venture, is led by professionals including Third Rock’s own Reid Huber, CEO; Christoph Lengauer, CSO; and Tim Guzi, SVP, Drug Discovery.

11. Kriya Therapeutics

5-year search growth: 200%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Funding: $600.5M (Series C)

What they do:

Kriya Therapeutics develops gene therapy treatments that target obesity, diabetes, and other widespread and serious diseases. They aim to use gene therapy to combat highly pervasive conditions rather than rare monogenic disorders. Kriya’s co-founders, plus early-stage research and finance, currently work from a Palo Alto headquarters, with an additional location in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park that focuses on manufacturing.

12. Embark Veterinary

5-year search growth: 700%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: Boston, MA

Funding: $94.3M (Series B)

What they do:

Embark Veterinary is a biotech company that specializes in dog DNA testing. The company offers a comprehensive genetic screening test that can identify over 350 breeds and 190 genetic health risks, helping dog owners better understand their pet's health and behavior. Embark also conducts ongoing research into canine genetics and collaborates with veterinary schools to advance the field of veterinary medicine.

13. Bionaut Labs

5-year search growth: 800%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Funding: $63.2M (Series B)

What they do:

Bionaut Labs uses a precision-targeted medicine method to transform the way brain disorders are treated. Their advances include the creation of Bionauts™, which are micro-robots that can be controlled remotely to deliver targeted treatment. The company is helmed by CEO and co-founder Michael Shpigelmacher, an expert in robotics and AI. The company’s other co-founder, Aviad Maizels, acts as Executive Chairman.

14. Motif FoodWorks

5-year search growth: 400%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: Boston, MA

Funding: $343.5M (Series B)

What they do:

Motif FoodWorks is a biotechnology company that focuses on creating proteins and other building blocks to craft better plant-based foods. They focus on developing more authentic meat and dairy substitutes, developing new plant-based foods, and improving existing ones. Motif is a spinoff from Ginkgo Bioworks.

15. Hexagon Bio

5-year search growth: 800%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Menlo Park, CA

Funding: $193.6M (Series B)

What they do:

Hexagon aims to use an understanding of how small molecules target illness-causing proteins to develop effective treatments. Their approach is guided by the study of the fungal genome. In September 2020, the company announced the close of its Series A financing, which included investments from The Column Group, Two Sigma Ventures, and 8VC, as well as a new leadership team member, Chief Scientific Officer Tod Smeal, who previously worked at Pfizer and Eli Lilly.

16. Benchling

5-year search growth: 239%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $411.9M (Series F)

What they do:

Benchling is an R&D platform built for the life sciences space. Their goal is to streamline the R&D process from beginning to end and help teams bring research data to a centralized location. Their customer list includes well-known names such as Pfizer, Regeneron, and BP Biosciences. With their most recent funding round F of $100 million, the company has vaulted to a $6.1 billion valuation.

17. Olaris

5-year search growth: 10%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Framingham, MA

Funding: Undisclosed (Series B)

What they do:

Olaris seeks to provide better, more personalized treatment plans for patients by understanding people’s individual biomarkers. Olaris was founded in 2014 by Dr. Liz O’Day, a Harvard-educated professional with a biological and biomedical specialization.

18. Protera

 

5-year search growth: 88%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: Paris, France

Funding: $15.6M (Series A)

What they do:

Protera uses their knowledge and research into proteins to develop ingredients for a variety of food and agricultural uses. Some of their ingredients include Protera Guard, which can lengthen the shelf life of food, and Protera Sense, a healthy oil alternative that replaces trans fatty acids. Investors in Protera include venture capital firms Sofinnova Partners and SOSV.

19. Aegle Therapeutics

5-year search growth: 700%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Miami, FL

Funding: $13.5M (Convertible Note)

What they do:

Aegle Therapeutics is working on a treatment for a rare childhood disorder that causes fragile and easily-blistered skin. Their method is “cell-free,” aiming to leverage the revitalizing effects of stem cells while being safer and less-expensive and without actually using stem cells. The FDA cleared Aegle’s drug candidate in 2019, and it is expected to enter the clinic in the first quarter of 2021.

20. Detect

5-year search growth: 75%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2020

Location: Guilford, CT

Funding: Undisclosed (Series C)

What they do:

Detect is a biotech startup focused on developing innovative tests for early cancer detection. Using a proprietary blood-based technology, the company aims to create affordable and non-invasive diagnostic tools that can detect cancer at its earliest stages when it is most treatable. Detect is currently in the process of developing tests for a range of cancers including lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer.

21. Lumeda

5-year search growth: -25%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2020

Location: Rocky Hill, Connecticut

Funding: $7.4M (Series A)

What they do: Lumeda is a medical technology company that provides solutions for patients diagnosed with non-small lung cancer. Specifically, the startup has developed a photodynamic combination device and a photosensitizer agent product. Combining these two products produces a reactive oxygen species that can kill cancer cells. According to Pitchbook, Lumeda is looking to close a Series B funding round by the end of the year.

22. Lemonex

5-year search growth: -50%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: Seoul, South Korea

Funding: $22.1M (Series C)

What they do: Lemonex is a biotherapeutics company working on next-gen drug delivery. Their award-winning, patented technology, DegradaBall, is loaded with drug candidates designed to make it easier to deliver candidates into cultured cells. After announcing a Series C funding round, the company has already prepared to file for an IPO.

23. Shiok Meats

5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2018

Location: Singapore, Singapore

Funding: $30.2M (Seed)

What they do: Shiok Meats’ vision is to reinvent seafood. To deliver on their vision, the startup uses biotechnology to grow seafood meat from cells rather than from animals. Claiming to be the first company of its kind in South-East Asia, Shiok Meats now produces shrimp, crabs and lobsters using their technology. Currently, in their R&D phase, the startup is targeting to commercialize soon.

24. Spiderwort

5-year search growth: 29%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: Ontario, Canada

Funding: $16.1M (Series A)

What they do: Spiderwort claims they can regenerate and repair human body tissues. During clinical trials, the startup’s tech has already been proven to have promise in treating spinal cord injuries. Last November, Spiderwort announced that they were looking to close a Series A funding round.

25. Deep Genomics

5-year search growth: 67%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Ontario, Canada

Funding: $236.7M (Series C)

What they do: Deep Genomics has implemented a new drug development system by combining AI and RNA biology. The startup’s AI generates billions of data points used to build machine learning systems for drug development. Recruiting only the top 1% of the talent available, Deep Genomics has already assembled a team of over 50 people.

26. Capstan Therapeutics

5-year search growth: 1100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2021

Location: San Diego, CA

Funding: $165M (Series A)

What they do: Capstan Therapeutics is a biotech startup focused on developing therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. The company is using its proprietary drug discovery platform to identify small molecules that target key proteins involved in the regulation of cellular processes such as cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis, with the aim of developing targeted therapies for patients with unmet medical needs. Capstan's lead drug candidate is currently in preclinical development for the treatment of multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.

27. Rakuten Medical

5-year search growth: -33%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2010

Location: San Diego, California

Funding: $723.4M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Rakuten Medical treats solid tumors using precision-targeted therapies. This is made possible by Illuminox, their patented technology that serves as an investigational treatment platform. The startup is funded by 5 investors, with General Catalyst being the most notable.

28. Ring Therapeutics

5-year search growth: 500%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Funding: $253.5M (Series C)

What they do: Ring Therapeutics is building a redosable and targetable gene therapy platform. It aims to increase the usage of DNA-based treatments beyond gene replacement. Another thing that makes Ring Therapeutics unique is that it allows healthcare professionals to reach previously unreachable tissues and organs. To help with its mission, the startup has amassed a team stacked full of PhDs in different areas of medicine.

29. Grow Group

5-year search growth: 230%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2017

Location: London, England

Funding: $4.4M (Equity Crowdfunding)

What they do: Grow Group is a biopharmaceutical company that exclusively works on delivering cannabis-based medicines. Looking to conquer a $14B industry, Grow Group’s mission is to become a leading supplier of medical cannabis by 2025.

30. ElevateBio

5-year search growth: 800%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2017

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts 

Funding: $1.2B (Series D)

What they do: ElevateBio is a biotechnology company focused on creating and developing cell and gene therapies to treat genetic diseases and cancer. Their platform, ElevateCell, integrates various capabilities such as R&D, process development, and manufacturing to expedite the development of transformative therapies.

31. Metagenomi

5-year search growth: 1000%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2018

Location: Emeryville, CA

Funding: $457M (Series B)

What they do:

Metagenomi is a biotech startup that leverages CRISPR-Cas3 technology to develop gene editing solutions for the treatment of genetic diseases. Their platform is designed to target specific genetic mutations at the DNA level, with the potential to treat a range of disorders including inherited metabolic diseases and cancer. The company is focused on advancing preclinical research and developing partnerships with industry leaders to accelerate the development of their innovative therapies.

32. Ribon Therapeutics

5-year search growth: -50%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Funding: $209M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Ribon Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company that targets stress support pathways in cancer. Currently, in its clinical-stage testing, BEACON, the startup’s technology, unlocks the biochemical roles of NAD-utilizing enzymes. Ribon Therapeutics raised their last Series B funding round at a valuation of $210M.

33. Anocca

5-year search growth: 7173%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Sodertalje, Sweden

Funding: $110.1M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Anocca wants to unlock the full potential of T-cell immunity. Their technology deploys engineered cellular, molecular and genetic tools. These tools can analyze immune systems and manufacture T-cells therapies from that information. Their pipeline currently consists of 4 treatments targeting 15 different health problems.

34. Arzeda

5-year search growth: 200%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2008

Location: Seattle, Washington

Funding: $66.4M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Arzeda brands itself as “THE” Protein Design Company. They use technology to create unique proteins, enzymes and other specialty chemicals that can be used to improve fermentation strains for nearly any chemical. Arzeda has entered into a strategic partnership with Unilever to find new enzymes that can be used in laundry and cleaning products.

35. Max Health

5-year search growth: 51%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Chengdu, China

Funding: Undisclosed (Series A)

What they do: Max Health develops shingles, herpes and rotavirus vaccine technology. The Sichuan-based company is supported and funded by Hillhouse Capital Group and Sherpa Healthcare Partners, to name a few of their more prominent investors.

36. Eikon Therapeutics

5-year search growth: 1000%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Hayward, CA

Funding: $772M (Series C)

What they do: Eikon Therapeutics is a biotech startup that is focused on developing gene therapies to treat genetic disorders. The company is developing a new platform for gene editing called "NanoKnife" that is designed to be more precise and efficient than existing gene editing technologies. The goal of Eikon Therapeutics is to develop new treatments for a range of genetic diseases, including those that are currently difficult or impossible to treat with existing therapies.

37. Dyno Therapeutics

5-year search growth: 2757%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Funding: $109M (Series A)

What they do: Dyno Therapeutics is a biotech startup that aims to revolutionize gene therapy with its proprietary AI-powered platform for designing adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, which are used to deliver gene therapies. By using AI to optimize AAV design, Dyno Therapeutics aims to overcome the limitations of traditional gene therapies and unlock new treatments for genetic diseases.

38. Seed Health

5-year search growth: 1600%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Venice, CA

Funding: $40M (Series A)

What they do: Seed Health is a biotech startup that specializes in microbiome science, developing microbial treatments and consumer probiotics for various conditions such as gut health, oral health, and skin health. The company aims to improve human health and wellbeing by harnessing the power of microbial diversity and promoting a healthy microbiome. Seed Health also conducts research to further understand the role of the microbiome in health and disease.

39. Multus

5-year search growth: 94%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: London, England

Funding: $14.7M (Series A)

What they do: Multus has created a unique tech stack designed to develop growth factor proteins. These proteins can be used to make cultivated meat more affordable and profitable. The IndieBio-backed startup was awarded equity-free funding from InnovateUK Sustainable Innovation Fund.

40. Enveda Biosciences

5-year search growth: 200%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: Boulder, CO

Funding: $174.9M (Series B)

What they do: Enveda Biosciences is a biotech startup focused on the discovery and development of next-generation medicines using computational biology and machine learning. The company aims to identify novel biological pathways and drug targets to treat complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. Its platform combines data from multiple sources, including genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, to accelerate the drug discovery process and bring new therapies to patients faster.

41. Redesign Science

5-year search growth: 200%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2018

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $17M (Seed)

What they do: Redesign Science is capable of stimulating protein targets at their atomic level. This process makes it possible to discover new, hidden drug opportunities. For Redesign Science to improve its platform, it entered a strategic partnership with OpenEye Scientific. This partnership allows Redesign Science to integrate OpenEye’s cutting-edge Orion technology into its platform. The company recently surpassed Seed rounds 2 and 3 to receive $15 million.

42. ShapeTX

5-year search growth: 1500%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2018

Location: Seattle, Washington

Funding: $147.5M (Series B)

What they do: ShapeTX’s motto is “restoring the natural shape of life.” This is because they have created a platform that treats neurodegenerative disorders, metabolic, oncology and other rare genetic diseases through RNA targeting. The startup’s last Series B round was invested at a $372M valuation.

43. Stemson Therapeutics

5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2018

Location: San Diego, California

Funding: $22.5M (Series A)

What they do: Stemson Therapeutics, in contrast to many startups presented here, uses technology to find hair growth solutions. Its method uses induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to generate de novo follicles, which combat hair loss. The company is looking to conquer a $4.5B market in the United States.

44. Wugen

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2018

Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

Funding: $172M (Series B)

What they do: Wugen has developed two therapies, WU-CART and WU-NK. WU-CART is designed to treat T-cell malignancies specifically. On the other hand, WU-NK is an off-the-shelf drug that can treat various solid tumors and hematological diseases. Both of these therapies are currently in their pre-clinical and clinical testing phases.

Conclusion

While their individual goals may be different, many of the companies on this list are united by similar pursuits.

For example, a number of the startups are focused on providing better, more effective, more targeted treatments for human diseases, or providing treatments for under-addressed conditions.

Several of the entities are specifically focused on gene therapy or genetics.

At large, many of those mentioned are involved in finding or leveraging scientific discoveries that could improve a population’s health and quality of life.

Based on search growth, funding activity, and the innovative nature of their work, these 44 biotech startups should be on your radar in 2024.