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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Epstein-Barr virus: Trigger and driver of multiple sclerosis?

Microscopic view of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), stained with Hematoxylin and eosin (HE). This color image highlights abnormal cells or tissue associated with EBV, a virus linked to several types of cancer and other disorders. Source: National Cancer Institute.

Recent research has indicated a link between Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and multiple sclerosis (MS), with some researchers going as far as to say that EBV might be a potential trigger of MS. However, it remains unclear whether the virus also drives the progression of the disease. Current treatments focus largely on moderating inflammation. In this article, we expand on the hypothesized correlation between MS and EBV, and underscore the need to consider antiviral protection in drug development.


Multiple sclerosis. MS is an unpredictable and debilitating neurological autoimmune disease that turns the body’s immune system against itself, …

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Natalizumab and PML: The complex dance of benefit and risk for MS

MRI scan of a PML patient displaying prominent brain lesions (indicated by white signal). [Image credit: Daniel S. Reich, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)]

Biogen’s Tysabri (natalizumab), the first humanized monoclonal antibody for multiple sclerosis (MS), sparked optimism among MS patients following its FDA approval in 2004. The drug offered significant benefits, reducing relapses for patients resistant to other treatments. This was a significant milestone in the treatment of MS, but the journey of natalizumab and PML soon took a concerning turn.

Within a year, alarming reports surfaced: A number of patients were developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare and often fatal brain infection. The suspected culprit? Natalizumab’s immunomodulatory effect, which suppressed the immune cells fighting the JC (John Cunningham) virus…

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