10 Successful Biotech Startups and How They Found Success

01/06/20 | 6 MIN READ

With the rapid development of technology, more biotech start-ups appear every year.

Because of the rapid development that's occurring with technology, there have been many successful startups within the biotech industry in recent years. Many of these startups have seen breakthroughs that have allowed them to grow and become a significant part of the industry in which they work.

One notable reason for the success of these startups is that many are focusing on evolution instead of revolution, which means that the products that these companies are creating have largely been refinements of existing technology as opposed to completely new inventions.

Due to how technology is advancing on a continual basis, refining a product still allows for significant improvements in current health care. This idea is discussed further in this article. You can also take a look at articles like this one to learn more about why individual biotech startups have become successful in recent years.

The following article is an extensive list of some of the more successful startups in the biotech field.

10 Successful Biotech Startup Summary

Biotech Startup Location Website
1. Notable Labs Foster City, CA https://notablelabs.com/
2. Transcriptic Menlo Park, CA https://www.transcriptic.com/
3. Spero Therapeutics Cambridge, MA https://sperotherapeutics.com/
4. Science Exchange Palo Alto, CA https://www.scienceexchange.com/
5. Codiak BioSciences Cambridge, MA http://www.codiakbio.com/
6. Semma Therapeutics Cambridge, MA http://www.semma-tx.com/
7. Samumed San Diego, CA https://www.samumed.com/default.aspx
8. Ginkgo Bioworks Boston, MA https://www.ginkgobioworks.com/
9. Foundation Medicine Cambridge, MA https://www.foundationmedicine.com/
10. Intellia Therapeutics Cambridge, MA https://www.intelliatx.com/

1. Notable Labs

Notable Labs is considered to currently be one of the best and most successful biotech startups in the world. This startup has become successful because of the drug-testing service that they've created and innovated upon in recent years. The drug-testing service that they provide is able to assist oncologists in identifying treatment options for individuals who suffer from blood cancer.

The founder of Notable Labs, Matt De Silva, became focused on changing the way that blood cancer is properly treated when his father was diagnosed with brain cancer.

They are considered to be among the top startups in the biotech industry because of the quality of their team and the product that they provide. They are able to deliver rapid results once doctors send samples of blood and bone marrow to them. With these samples in hand, they deliver personalized cancer treatments that save thousands of lives every year.

Notable Labs is based out of Foster City, CA. You can get more information about them at https://notablelabs.com/

2. Transcriptic

Transcriptic is a reputable biotech startup that has become successful because of the on-demand lab testing that they provide for scientists in the field. Their focus is on revolutionizing the ways that scientists conduct experiments. When a scientist wants to use the services available with Transcriptic, they can conduct and send their experiments to Transcriptic from any location in the world.

Transcriptic will then automate these experiments, which allows them to be performed in a more rapid and accurate manner. The results are then emailed directly to the scientist who sent the experiment, which makes for a very streamlined process. Transcriptic has garnered success because they are effective and have provided highly accurate results since they were founded in 2012.

They are located in Menlo Park, CA. You can get more information about Transcriptic at https://www.transcriptic.com/

3. Spero Therapeutics

Spero Therapeutics is a young startup that focuses primarily on cell therapeutics. Founded in 2013, Spero Therapeutics has become a leader in the biotech industry for the therapeutics they've designed that help to treat Gram-negative infections. The bacteria that causes this infections has become highly resistant to the antibiotic drugs that are currently available on the market, which is why Spero Therapeutics is needed in the industry.

The members of their microbiology team have an efficient and effective virtual approach to the development of drugs, which provides them with the means of developing and testing a drug quicker than most companies.

They are located in Cambridge, MA. You can get more information about Spero Therapeutics at https://sperotherapeutics.com/

4. Science Exchange

Science Exchange is a highly unique biotech startup that provides organizations with access to experts and researchers all over the world via a market-based method. This method allows Science Exchange to keep prices relatively low, which provides businesses and startups of all sizes with the ability to perform R&D without incurring the usual costs.

For instance, a smaller business can search the marketplace for a lab that meets the technical needs of the experiment that they need to perform. These labs can be located anywhere in the world, which allows companies to gain access to special and advanced equipment that might not be widely available.

They are located in Palo Alto, CA. You can get more information about Science Exchange at https://www.scienceexchange.com/

5. Codiak BioSciences

Codiak BioSciences is a biotech startup that develops premier cellular modeling. They develop exosomes, which are structures that facilitate inter-cellular communication. The exosomes that they develop are able to be used for diagnostics as well as advanced therapeutic modality. They have built a technology platform that allows them to use exosome engineering for precise therapeutic reasons.

This modern form of medicine may be able to provide new and effective treatment options for all kinds of disorders and diseases, which is why every advancement they make has helped them garner lasting success.

They are located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is found in Cambridge, MA. You can get more information about Codiak BioSciences at http://www.codiakbio.com/

6. Semma Therapeutics

Semma Therapeutics is a biotech startup that specifically treats type-1 diabetes by altering the way that the body interacts with insulin. All of the work that they do is centered around researching and developing therapies that can be used by individuals who depend on injections of insulin for their diabetes.

They have become successful because of a recent discovery of a technique that can generate billions of beta cells within the laboratory that are able to produce insulin. By implanting a device that's filled with beta cells, it's possible to provide diabetic patients with a lasting replacement for their missing beta cells.

They are located in Cambridge, MA. You can get more information about Semma Therapeutics at http://www.semma-tx.com/

7. Samumed

Samumed is a startup that has already become among the most successful in the biotech industry. Their success has occurred because of their focus on tissue regeneration via stem cells. Their goal is to manipulate stem cells in order to effectively prevent hair loss while also preventing various diseases of the skin and bones.

Samumed is also striving to create medicines that can help to reverse the aging process, which may be achieved by forcing the cells in elder individuals to regenerate just as quickly as embryos do.

They are located in San Diego, CA. You can get more information about Samumed at https://www.samumed.com/default.aspx

8. Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo Bioworks is known for the work they've done in the field of cellular biology. They believe that bacteria can be used to develop anything from drugs to perfume, which they are putting to the test. In 2018, Ginkgo became a very successful startup by partnering with Bayer for the development of microbes that can be used for agricultural needs. They are currently working to recreate the aroma of plants that have been extinct for a long time.

At Harvard University, members of Ginkgo Bioworks took samples of extinct plants from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With these samples, they placed DNA of related plant species into the missing fragments, which allowed for genes that produce essential oils to enter the yeast genome. These experiments have created some highly unique fragrances.

They are located in Boston, MA. You can get more information about Ginkgo Bioworks at https://www.ginkgobioworks.com/

9. Foundation Medicine

Foundation Medicine is a biotech startup that was funded by Google Venture, which is a venture capital firm that focuses on providing funding to promising startups in all kinds of sectors. They are a genomics company that focuses on creating diagnostic modules that can test solid and circulating tumors. Some of their recent success is displayed by the FDA approval of their Foundation One CDx product. This product is a diagnostic test kit that examines a patient's tumor treatment to identify possible therapies.

Their goal is to design effective therapies that can be used for the treatment of blood cancers, organ cancers, and life-threatening diseases. They have key partnerships with other leaders in the industry like Novartis and Johnson & Johnson.

They are located in Cambridge, MA. You can get more information about Foundation Medicine at https://www.foundationmedicine.com/

10. Intellia Therapeutics

Intellia Therapeutics is a genome-editing startup that uses their research to develop treatments for chronic diseases of various organs, gene-mediated toxicities, and infectious diseases that are deemed to be life-threatening. They have long-term projects in place with premier research centers like Novartis. The continued success that they've found since 2014 has allowed them to expand their focus to include inefficiencies of the central nervous system.

They are located in Cambridge, MA. You can get more information about Intellia Therapeutics at https://www.intelliatx.com/

Following Successful Biotech Startups

woman holding test tube

If you have recently developed a biotech startup or are thinking about entering the field, it's important to follow successful biotech startups because it allows you to understand why they have become successful. Most biotech startups fail because of the inherent risk that comes with entering such an industry.

The advancements that you make need to be industry-leading, which is why it's highly recommended that you spend time learning about the successes and failures of the top startups in the biotech industry. Understanding the approaches that they've taken can be invaluable towards helping you create a strong business plan.

Some of the more popular trends in the biotech and medtech industries that you might want to pursue with your startup include:

  • Robotic surgery
  • Wearable technology
  • AI technology
  • The creation of artificial organs, and
  • Digital healthcare services

The successful startups on this list have all created products and services that use modern technological advancements. If you believe that you've found an idea worth pursuing for a startup but require some equipment and resources to develop this idea, consider applying for space at the wet-lab incubator available through University Lab Partners. The resources provided at this incubator could be what you need to grow your startup beyond its formative stages.


Revised 11/13/2020


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