Top 5 Biotech Companies to Emerge From Bay Area Incubators

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Business incubators are hot these days. These organizations offer shared operation space, access to regular capital, structural and business resources, and professional mentoring.

The San Francisco Business Times recently looked at top alumni from Bay Area incubators. Some of those companies are now brand-name companies like Uber and Reddit. Here’s a look at the biotech companies on their list.

#1. Gingko Bioworks. Actually headquartered in Boston, Mass., Gingko came out of the Y Combinator incubator. To date, the company, which custom-designs microbes, has raised $429.1 million in funding. In November 2018, the company inked a $14 million deal with Glycosyn to optimize and scale the production of human milk oligosaccharides for a group of products that foster a healthy gut microbial ecology.

#2. Kodiak Sciences. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Kodiak is a clinical-stage biopharma company focused on developing therapeutics to treat chronic, high-prevalence retinal diseases. In December 2018, the company reported last visit (12 week) data from its Phase Ia clinical trial of KSI-301, an investigational anti-VEGF antibody biopolymer conjugate in nine patients with severe diabetic macular edema. Eight of the nine patients responded to KSI-301. No dose-limiting toxicities or drug-related adverse events were observed, and neither were signs of intraocular inflammation.

“We are very encouraged by the depth and durability of treatment responses,” stated Jason Ehrlich, Kodiak’s chief medical officer and chief development officer.

It came out of the StartX incubator and so far has raised $68.8 million in funding.

#3. Memphis Meats. This is a new company that qualifies as a biotech company of sorts. Memphis Meats is focused on growing meat-based foods from animal cells instead of from animals. Uma Valet, the company’s chief executive officer and co-founder, is a Mayo Clinic-trained cardiologist who has served in leadership roles at the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. The company was affiliated with the IndieBio incubator and to-date has raised $20.1 million.

#4. Mission Bio. Headquartered in South San Francisco, offers single-cell genomics solutions for high-impact applications with Tapestri, its Precision Genomics Platform. In December 2018, it announced Series B funding from Agilent Technologies, Cota Capital, LAM Capital, and Mayfield of $30 million. It was affiliated with Johnson & Johnson Innovation Labs and has brought in $89.7 million in total funding.

In a statement at the Series B round, Darlene Solomon, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Agilent Technologies, stated, “The Tapestri platform’s unique quality control capabilities are strengthening our CRISPR R&D programs. Agilent’s commitment to innovation and precision medicine are well matched with Mission Bio’s Tapestri platform as it has the potential to improve patient outcomes in the fight against cancer—and that’s the most meaningful benchmark of all.”

#5. uBiome. uBiome came out of StartX, Y Combination and 500 Startups. To date, it has raised $109.9 million. The company develops genomic sequencing-based microbiome tests. Its SmartGut is the world’s first sequencing-based clinical microbiome test and is used to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and potentially obesity and diabetes. Its SmartJane is a sequencing-based clinical microbiome test for vaginal health.

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