50 of the best-funded biotechs of 2023

[Adobe Stock]

As the year draws to a close, it is clear that molecular science and diagnostics is the hottest funding area in the biotech industry. In an analysis of 50 of the best-funded biotechs of 2023 focused on human health, molecular and science and diagnostics startups collectively attracting roughly $945 million, dwarfing the figures in other segments. The next popular two niches, gene therapies and oncology, had average funding levels of approximately $245 million and $170 million, respectively. While AI has received a significant amount of attention this year, biotechs specializing in that field garnered an average funding of only about $66 million. Outside of the life sciences, startups with a broader focus on AI raised a cumulative average of $202.47 million, based on an analysis of close to 1000 companies.

Caris Life Sciences has raised nearly $1.7B to date

In terms of best-funded companies overall,…

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Startup Evozyne identifies ‘supernatural’ proteins with Nvidia’s pretrained AI model

[Protein image courtesy of Nvidia]

AI computing firm Nvidia (Nasdaq:NVDA) and the Chicago-based biotech startup Evozyne have teamed up to develop an AI model for designing therapeutic proteins. Using NVIDIA’s BioNeMo language model service, the companies developed the Protein Transformer Variational AutoEncoder (ProT-VAE) model.

The initial focus of the Evozyne research team was on the PAH gene, which governs the production of the phenylalanine-hydroxylase enzyme. A mutation in the PAH gene has been linked to phenylketonuria, a rare condition characterized by elevated levels of phenylalanine that can lead to neurological problems.

With the goal of developing a novel treatment for phenylketonuria, ProT-VAE created new synthetic PAH variants that they predicted would have “supernatural” functionality. Lab tests eventually demonstrated that some of the protein variants were up to 2.5 times more effecti…

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