Despite a challenging period for the biotechnology sector in 2022-23, the industry remains a dynamic and rapidly evolving landscape. The end of 2023 brought signs of resurgence, including the historic approval of the first CRISPR gene therapy and significant pharma acquisitions, highlighting the enduring value of innovative technologies. Numerous companies are set to advance scientific discoveries and transform healthcare in 2024. Five to watch are notable for their groundbreaking research, promising pipelines and potential to redefine medicine.
Founded by a team of respected scientists including former Vir CEO George Scangos, Rezo Therapeutics emerged with a $78 million Series A in 2022. Rezo’s platform, developed from UCSF’s Quantitative Biosciences Institute, combines protein tracking technologies to create biological “maps” for disease treatment. Expect developments from Rezo in 2024 as pharma invests in complex data-driven platform technologies.
Going public in 2023 via a merger with AgeX Therapeutics, Serina’s POZ platform technology enables precise delivery of small molecules. The company is advancing SER-252 for Parkinson’s Disease and preparing for Phase 1 clinical trials in 2024. While this stage of the company indicates a potentially long road ahead, a recent license agreement with Pfizer showcases the potential for further significant collaborations.
Capstan’s use of targeted lipid nanoparticles for in-vivo mRNA delivery revolutionizes CAR-T therapy and could greatly impact cancer treatment and other diseases. With $165 million in financing, Capstan is a key contender in the evolving CAR-T field. The company’s ability to address the scalability issues of CAR-T will be critical.
South Rampart Pharma
With a recently completed Phase 1 trial and the green light to pursue two Phase 2 trials, South Rampart Pharma, Inc. is poised for an exciting 2024. Lead product SRP-001, a first-in-class analgesic targeting the midbrain’s PAG region, has received U.S. FDA Fast-Track designation. This promising new treatment could help the millions affected by acute, chronic and neuropathic pain.
A leader in developing therapies for severe metabolic disorders, OrsoBio’s focus on central energy metabolism pathways is timely with the rising interest in GLP-1s for diabetes and weight loss. OrsoBio’s recent funding will support three Phase 2 studies through 2024. Differentiation and efficacy will be key given the competitiveness of the space.