50 of the best-funded biotechs of 2023

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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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Is there a better way to treat UTIs? Luca Biologics says look at the microbiome

In 2019, clinically-studied probiotic specialist Seed Health launched a partner company known as Luca Biologics focused on women’s health. Based on 15 years of academic vaginal microbiome research, LUCA’s pipeline targets urinary tract infections (UTI), bacterial vaginosis and preterm birth. The company’s first drug candidate targets UTIs and will enter a Phase 1b trial this year. 

The company’s chief scientist, Dr. Jacques Ravel, led research recently published in Genome Biology that shed light on vaginal microbe composition and its functions. 

We recently spoke with Dr. Ravel to learn more about that research and Luca Biologics’ pipeline. 

Drug Discovery & Development: What initially inspired you to focus on microbial ecology?  

Ravel: My Ph.D. was in microbial ecology at the University of Maryland, and my postdoc at Johns Hopkins University focused on natural product chemistry. While doing the postdoc, I taught…

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