It's no secret the funding environment has been a little challenging in 2023, so I thought it could be helpful to compile a list of raises destined towards CNS & Rare Disease biotech. I think it's clear there is still definitely cash being directed towards early-stage biotech with innovative platforms and assets!
Although seed raises aren't limited to these three deals, we’ve seen the presence of a few particularly high-value seed raises ($30 million up to $96 million) showing that, although VC may be betting on fewer early-stage companies, the funding is still there. The companies receiving this funding have diverse focuses, from AI-focused platform companies to autoimmune neuropsychiatry, and all the way to ophthalmology gene therapy.
We've seen multiple companies raise their Series A this 2023 with a diverse set of focuses. Funds have been destined towards neuromuscular, neurodegenerative, psychiatric, and rare disease (and a major presence of ophthalmology biotech) across the UK, EU, and US. Although we haven’t spotted a trend with modalities, data-driven science is clearly reigning with AI and precision medicine showing up more and more. We've seen some incredibly high-value Series As. An example was one of the biggest European raises this year, with VectorY’s Series A, and a mammoth $300 million Series A raise from ReNAgade!
Although there has been much talk of biotechs reaching the dreaded ‘Series A cliff’, Series B funding has clearly had a strong presence. Rapport Therapeutics not only raised their Series B this year, but did so just six months after raising their Series A. Other companies, such as Ensoma, managed to raise their Series B and an extension. We are seeing a dominance of platform biotech at the Series B stage, including those developing novel gene editing methods, sequencing platforms, RNA therapeutics, and more.
Although we have seen fewer instances of late-stage financing, there have been some phenomenal deals made in ‘historically risky’ areas. Notably, psychiatry-focused biotech Alto Neuroscience and MapLight have both raised, the latter raising over $200M. Hoping to see even more late-stage deals in 2024!
It has definitely been a year of change in the biopharma industry, and with this come many challenges with talent and leadership. We’ve seen (and will continue to see) changes at the C-suite and board level, new company creation and subsequent team build-outs, and an ever-changing job market. We foresee 2024 to be similar, coupled with increased funding destined towards the CNS & Rare Disease space, paired with company growth and a rise in hiring opportunities.
If you are looking to discuss executive search for your own company, thinking of making changes within senior leadership, or looking for your next career opportunity, please don't hesitate to reach out.