17 May 2023
Olivia Vallee By Olivia Vallee

The Power of Investment: VC Funding Propelling Therapeutics Start-Ups.

VC funders for the drug discovery and therapeutics market are looking for ever-more innovative and creative ventures to put their support behind, sparking exciting possibilities for new conversations between start-ups and VCs. The appetite for investment in this space has been growing exponentially as the pharmaceuticals space presents continued fresh advancements.

Between 2019 and 2021, a reported two-thirds of all VC biotech funding of recent years was invested in startup companies, with more than $52B invested worldwide into the therapeutic-based biotech sector. Looking ahead from the start of 2023, annual spending on pharmaceutical research and therapeutics developments globally looks set to rise to $254 Billion by 2026. The future for funders and start-ups alike is looking fruitful.

Eyes on the Prize.

Within this climate, there are a handful of dedicated VCs making waves in the space. I've got my eye on VC Companies for new therapeutics companies to watch. Let’s take a look.

Versant Ventures

With $4.2B under management, over 30 academic partnerships, and a presence in the VC market since 1999, Versant Ventures are developing an impressive portfolio of therapeutic start-up investment. An early collaboration in the recent wave of therapeutics interest, their 2019 investment with Aprea, has helped develop novel anticancer compounds supporting tumour suppression proteins.  

Meanwhile, their backing of Capsida Biotherapeutics with $140M, a start-up exploring innovative targeted gene therapies for life-changing gene disorders, has led to the development of revolutionary gene editing therapies for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Friedreich's Ataxia.  

Atlas Venture

Bringing together diverse experience and talented entrepreneurs across the science, research, and clinical development spaces, Atlas Venture is nurturing breakthroughs in biotech and therapeutic companies across the sector.  

Providing $68M to Pheon Therapeutics has helped them reach clinical launch with a first-in-class ADC-featured pipeline of monotherapies for novel targets expressed in solid tumours across a broad range of resistant cancer types. This lead program is expected to reach IND in 2024.

Atlas Venture pioneering VC support of groundbreaking platforms doesn’t stop there; their backing of HotSpot Therapeutics proprietary SpotFinder technology platform, the first and only solution to systematically identifying and targeting “regulatory hotspots”, a unique family of allosteric sites used naturally to regulate protein function. With Atlas Venture’s VC support, HotSpot Therapeutics is developing a first-in-class pipeline of medicines for the advanced treatment of debilitating autoimmune diseases, cancers, and metabolic diseases.

5AM Ventures

A leading venture capital firm in the therapeutics sector, 5AM Ventures supports next-generation life science companies working at the forefront of innovation in biopharmaceuticals, drug delivery technologies, and life science instruments. With $2.2b under management and over 100 portfolio companies in their network, they’ve developed some impressive relationships with generous funding grants.  

Supporting monoclonal antibodies development, 5AM Ventures’ support of Dianthus has enabled the design and delivery of best-in-class advancements with improved selectivity, and unrivalled potency for the treatment of severe and rare autoimmune diseases.  

The dedicated and creative spirit of their broad portfolio is evidenced in their focused clinical trials, with 60 ongoing projects at present. Their work with Cabaletta Bio (CABA), in particular, leads in new technologies, with a focus on the discovery and development of T cell therapies for B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases. 5AM’s VC funding is as impressive as it is inspiring.  

Third Rock Ventures

Founded in 2007, Third Rock Ventures are a VC company with a true enthusiasm for breakthrough development across the therapeutics space. Collaborating across science, medicine, business and strategy, they focus on VC funding to support sustainable and innovative companies to transform the future of patient care.

One of their leading collaborations with bluebird bio supports the development of gene therapies for severe genetic diseases and cancers. Bluebird bio works across a number of disorders, from cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy to multiple myeloma using three gene therapy technologies.

Meanwhile, Septerna Inc, one of their newest acquisitions, opens new drug discovery opportunities for the G protein-coupled receptor drug target class. Their Native Complex Platform uses the receptor's native structure, function, and external dynamics to develop new technologies for drug discovery on an industrial scale. This platform is one of an emerging pipeline in Septerna’s work, promising an exciting future ahead and the forward-thinking focus of Third Rock Ventures as a leading therapeutics VC company.

VC Vision.

The Future of Therapeutics Investment

For therapeutics developments across the pharmaceutical space, VC funding is becoming increasingly accessible with a greater focus on innovation. Developing future industry connections across the sector is dependent upon collaborative and innovative support, and both VC companies and therapeutics start-ups can prepare for an exciting expansion ahead.

Are you interested in discussing the future of therapeutics investment in some more detail with me? I'd love to chat! Connect and drop me a message on LinkedIn, or via email at Olivia.Vallee@charltonmorris.com.

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Olivia Vallee

Olivia’s background in Chemistry fuels her passion for the Drug Discovery and Therapeutics market and enables her to connect on all levels with the roles she recruits for. An in-depth knowledge of the industry allows her to provide effective search processes for clients and ensure a smooth experience for candidates. Olivia is bilingual in French, which leads to servicing the European market effortlessly.


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