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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, Caris Life Sciences came in on top with close to $1.7 billion in total funding. Founded in 2008, the company’s most recent funding was a senior secured term loan on January 19, 2023 that provided up to $400 million in capital from OrbiMed and Braidwell.  Next in line was the cell and gene therapy technology company ElevateBio, whose most recent funding was a $401 million Series D financing on May 24, 2023. It was founded in 2017. Rounding out the top three is Eikon Therapeutics, which raised $106 million in a Series C funding round on June 1, 2023. Eikon was founded in 2019.

Noted industry veterans are at the helm of Eikon Therapeutics. Dr. Roger Perlmutter, a former president of Merck Research Laboratories, joined Eikon Therapeutics as its CEO after leaving Merck at the end of 2020​​. While the company itself was founded in 2014 by Robert Tjian, Luke Lavis, Xavier Darzacq, and Eric Betzig, who is a cowinners of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The fourth company on the list, SHINE Technologies, is not a pure-play life sciences company, but is focused on fusion technology. Based in Janesville, Wisconsin, it is, however, developing medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals for cancer treatment. In October 2023, it scored $70 million in additional funding in a convertible note round. ​

Rounding out the top five is Generate Biomedicines, which generated $273 million in Series C financing on September 14, 2023. The company plans on using the funding to advance its machine-learning-powered generative biology platform, which is focused on developing preclinical and clinical protein therapies​.

50 of the best-funded biotechs of 2023

The following table captures cumulative funding totals for 50 of well-resourced biotechs. It was limited to companies that had raised capital in 2023. The list does not distinguish between funding types, and thus includes both equity financing and debt financing. Data was sourced from Crunchbase, which tracks startup activities and funding data. There is little overlap in this list in a prior roundup of 30 innovative biotechs from August.

Company Total funding amount (in USD) Last funding date Headquarters Description
Caris Life Sciences $1,690,000,000 January 19, 2023 Irving, Texas
Caris Life Sciences is a molecular science and technology company.
ElevateBio $1,246,000,000 May 24, 2023 Waltham, Massachusetts ElevateBio focuses on enabling the development of transformative cell and gene therapies. It operates as a platform company, providing end-to-end capabilities to support the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of cell and gene therapies.
Eikon Therapeutics $772,000,000 June 1, 2023 Hayward, California
Focuses on developing drugs through the use of high-resolution live-cell imaging and artificial intelligence to understand protein dynamics in human cells.
SHINE Technologies $742,211,946 October 11, 2023 Janesville, Wisconsin
This fusion technology company also is developing radiopharmaceuticals for cancer treatment.
Generate Biomedicines $693,000,000 September 14, 2023 Somerville, Massachusetts
Uses machine learning and computational biology to design and generate novel proteins for use in drugs, diagnostics, and other biological applications.
Metagenomi $456,973,182 January 05, 2023 Emeryville, California
Metagenomi uses metagenomics and machine learning to discover novel genome editing systems for therapy.
Battelle $422,100,000 November 8, 2023 Columbus, Ohio
Battelle is an independent research and development organization.
Cellares $355,000,000 August 23, 2023 South San Francisco, California
Cellares has developed an automation platform known as the Cell Shuttle to overcome manufacturing challenges in cell and gene therapy.
AmplifyBio $279,750,000 November 15, 2023 West Jefferson, Ohio
AmplifyBio develops next-generation cell and gene therapies.
Orbital Therapeutics $270,000,000 April 26, 2023 Cambridge, Massachusetts
Develops RNA-based RNA medicines. ​
MapLight Therapeutics $268,099,999 October 30, 2023 Palo Alto, California
MapLight Therapeutics offers a platform for discovering and developing therapeutics for brain disorders.
Chroma Medicine $260,000,000 March 1, 2023 Cambridge, Massachusetts
This genomic medicine company works on epigenetic editing.
Genesis Therapeutics $256,100,000 August 21, 2023 South San Francisco, California Specializes in AI-backed drug discovery, focusing on novel protein targets and untapped chemical spaces.​
Septerna $250,000,000 July 11, 2023 San Francisco
Focused on developing next-gen G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).
Rapport Therapeutics $250,000,000 August 23, 2023 Boston
Rapport Therapeutics is a private biotech focusing on treating neurological disorders through precision medicine. It specializes in using receptor-associated proteins (RAPs) to create precision neuromedicines. ​
Terremoto Biosciences $250,000,000 November 2, 2023 San Francisco
Focuses on exploring lysine-based covalency to develop novel therapeutics.
Alto Neuroscience $246,984,032 November 27, 2023 Los Altos, California
Uses an AI-enabled biomarker platform to develop therapies for mental health conditions.
Aiolos Bio $245,000,000 October 24, 2023 San Francisco
Focuses on developing therapies for respiratory diseases. It has more than 30 FDA approvals to date.
Asimov $205,000,000 January 5, 2023 Boston
Asimov creates tools for programming living cells. The company has developed a synthetic biology platform for biologics, cell/gene therapies, and RNA.
ENTEROME $200,731,154 October 30, 2023 Paris, France
The company’s OncoMimic technology aims to overcome immune tolerance against cancer cells.
Metabolon $199,703,977 January 24, 2023 Morrisville, North Carolina
Specializes in metabolomics, the study of metabolites, which are the small molecule chemicals involved in metabolism within cells and biological systems.
ROME Therapeutics $199,000,000 September 12, 2023 Cambridge, Massachusetts
Focuses on developing novel therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases by researching the repeatome, the repetitive sections of the human genome.
VectorY $175,313,414 November 13, 2023 Amsterdam
VectorY is a fully integrated gene therapy company.
Enveda Biosciences $174,900,000 April 20, 2023 Boulder, Colorado
This biotech develops plant-based therapies.
Rampart Bioscience $170,000,000 October 24, 2023 La Jolla, California
Develops gene medicines to provide treatments for an array range of diseases.
Fore Biotherapeutics $166,500,000 August 23, 2023 Philadelphia
This precision oncology company uses its functional genomics platform to explore unaddressed tumor mutations.
Aro Biotherapeutics $166,500,000 November 28, 2023 Philadelphia
Develops tissue-targeted genetic medicines with a platform based on a proprietary protein technology called Centyrins.
BenchSci $164,160,477 May 25, 2023 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Has AI offerings to support scientists in running drug discovery experiments.
Evozyne $144,367,382 September 27, 2023 Chicago
Evozyne is a generative AI company that focuses on therapeutic discovery and drug development.
Nouscom $134,635,870 November 14, 2023 Basel, Switzerland
Nouscom is a biotechnology company specializing in the development of cancer immunotherapies, including personalized cancer vaccines based on neoantigens and viral vectors.
Eyebiotech $130,000,000 November 14, 2023 New York City
Eyebiotech is a privately held ophthalmology biotechnology company.
Octave $128,000,069 November 24, 2023 Menlo Park, California
Octave is developing a clinical platform for multiple sclerosis treatment.
Pendulum Therapeutics $121,200,000 June 9, 2023 San Francisco
Focuses on developing microbiome-related products for the management of chronic diseases and overall health.
ZAGENO $121,000,000 May 25, 2023 Cambridge, Massachusetts
The companyis a multi-supplier marketplace for life science products.
Inceptive $120,000,000 September 7, 2023 Palo Alto, California
Inceptive designs RNA molecules using large-scale deep learning in a tight loop with high-throughput.
Ray Therapeutics $114,000,000 November 13, 2023 San Diego
Ray Therapeutics creates novel optogenetic gene therapies for patients with blinding diseases.
Universal Diagnostics $112,552,860 November 20, 2023 Seville, Andalucia, Spain
This Spanish in-vitro diagnostics company develops non-invasive blood tests for early detection of cancer.
On Target Laboratories $111,700,000 November 16, 2023 Northbrook, Illinois
Discovers and develops tumor-targeted fluorescent dyes for cancer surgery.
MBrace Therapeutics $110,000,000 November 14, 2023 San Diego
MBrace Therapeutics is a privately held biopharmaceutical business dedicated to improving cancer patient care.
DermBiont $108,481,329 October 19, 2023 Boston
Develops skin microbiome therapeutics to treat skin diseases and conditions.
Engine Biosciences $103,000,000 October 31, 2023 Singapore
Engine Biosciences applies machine learning to genomics for drug discovery.
Interius BioTherapeutics $102,951,331 October 20, 2023 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Interius BioTherapeutics is an oncology-focused biopharma.
Automata $99,777,204 October 03, 2023 London
Automata specializes in laboratory automation to streamline and improve the consistency of lab processes.
Ascidian Therapeutics $90,000,000 November 8, 2023 Boston
Ascidian Therapeutics is exploring the treatment of disease by rewriting RNA.
Memo Therapeutics $86,740,483 November 2, 2023 Schlieren, Zurich, Switzerland
Focuses on antibody discovery and development.
ENSEM Therapeutics $77,000,000 October 23, 2023 Medford, Massachusetts
Develops drug candidates using its proprietary platform that integrates genetic, transcriptional, and structural data to design small molecule therapeutics.
Arzeda $66,383,773 November 27, 2023 Seattle
Arzeda’s Intelligent Protein Design Technology combines physics-based protein design and AI.
Codagenix $65,602,000 October 24, 2023 Farmingdale, New York
Codagenix focuses on codon deoptimization with live-attenuated viruses for vaccine and therapeutic development.
Therini Bio $65,350,000 April 27, 2023 San Francisco
Therini Bio is a biotechnology company specializing in fibrin-targeting therapies to treat inflammatory neurological and retinal diseases.
Tagworks Pharmaceuticals $65,000,000 June 22, 20231 Nijmegen, Gelderland Focuses on eliciting selective chemical reactions in the body to release payloads, enabling on-target activation of antibody-drug conjugates, masked immunomodulators, and other prodrugs.