AgBiome lands $166M for safer crop protection technology

AgBiome

AgBiome, developing products from microbial communities, brought in a $116 million Series D round as the company prepares to pad its pipeline with new products.

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Avalo uses machine learning to accelerate the adaptation of crops to climate change

Avalo

Climate change is affecting farming all over the world, and solutions are seldom simple. But if you could plant crops that resisted the heat, cold or drought instead of moving a thousand miles away, wouldn’t you? Avalo helps plants like these become a reality using AI-powered genome analysis that can reduce the time and money it takes to breed hardier plants for this hot century.
Founded by two friends who thought they’d take a shot at a startup before committing to a life of academia, Avalo has a very direct value proposition, but it takes a bit of science to understand it.

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Mixlab raises $20M to provide purrfect pharmacy experience for pet parents

Mixlab

Pet pharmacy Mixlab has developed a digital platform enabling veterinarians to prescribe medications and have them delivered — sometimes on the same day — to pet parents. The New York-based company raised a $20 million Series A in a round of funding led by Sonoma Brands and including Global Founders Capital, Monogram Capital, Lakehouse Ventures and Brand Foundry. The new investment gives Mixlab total funding of $30 million, said Fred Dijols, co-founder and CEO of Mixlab.

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Coventry-based biotech grabs £6.2M funding to develop its novel biologic delivery platform

n-Syrinx

Coventry-based biotech, NanoSyrinx has raised a further £6.2m of seed financing, co-led by incoming Octopus Ventures and existing investor M Ventures (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), the corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA. Previous investors BioCity and the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) joined the funding round along with experienced deeptech investor IQ Capital and Jonathan Milner. The round was significantly oversubscribed with high demand both from existing and from new investors.

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UK biotech startup Kuano lands £1M for AI-driven drug discovery

Kuano AI

With artificial intelligence (AI) geared up to transform the pharmaceutical industry, a growing number of biotech and pharma startups are harnessing cutting-edge AI technology for drug discovery and drug remodelling.  To shift the COVID-19 tide and get things back to normal, the sector has become a hotbed for growing investments. Investors have been increasingly optimistic about the promise of AI in drug discovery and pouring more money into AI-driven biotech startups. 

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8 UK founders, leaders highlight fintech and deep tech as Bristol’s top sectors

Bristol startup ecosystem

The U.K. is gaining in popularity as a great place to start a tech firm. The country is quickly catching up to China on the tech investment front, with VC investments reaching a record of $15 billion in 2020, according to TechNation. Bristol proved especially popular among tech investors last year — local businesses raked in an impressive $414 million in 2020, making it the third-largest U.K. city for tech investment. The city also has the most fintech startups per head in the U.K. outside London, according to Whitecap’s 2019-2020 Ecosystem Report.

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Engine Biosciences expands its digital drug discovery pipeline with $43M round A

Engine biosciences

Drug discovery is a large and growing field, in which are to be found both ambitious startups and billion-dollar big pharma incumbents. Engine Biosciences is one of the former, a Singaporean outfit with with an expert founding crew and a different approach to the business of finding new therapeutics, and it just raised $43 million to keep growing.

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Huma, which uses AI and biomarkers to monitor patients and for medical research, raises $130M

Huma

Huma, which combines data from biomarkers with predictive algorithms both to help monitor patients, and uses the same technology to help researchers and pharmaceutical companies run clinical trials, has closed an equity round of $130 million, a Series C that the company can extend to $200 million by way of a $70 million debt line if it chooses.

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U.S. Senate committee revised a draft bill to fund AI, quantum, biotech

Capitol hill

U.S. Senate committee leaders have drafted a compromise $110 billion measure for basic and advanced technology research and science over five years and the creation of a White House chief manufacturing officer in the face of rising competitive pressure from China, according to a copy of the 131-page draft legislation seen on Friday by Reuters.

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C2i, a genomics SaaS product to detect traces of cancer, raises $100M Series B

c2i Genomics

If you or a loved one has ever undergone a tumor removal as part of cancer treatment, you’re likely familiar with the period of uncertainty and fear that follows. Will the cancer return, and if so, will the doctors catch it at an early enough stage? C2i Genomics has developed software that’s 100x more sensitive in detecting residual disease, and investors are pouncing on the potential. Today, C2i announced a $100 million Series B led by Casdin Capital. 

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Foresite Capital raises $969 million fund to invest in healthcare startups across all stages of growth

Foresight Healthcare

Health and life science specialist investment firm Foresite Capital has raised a new fund, its fifth to date, totally $969 million in commitments from LPs. This is the firm’s largest fund to date, and was oversubscribed relative to its original target according to fund CEO and founder Dr. Jim Tananbaum, who told me that while […]

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This startup says its AI can better spot a healthy embryo — and improve IVF success

With every year, AI is beginning to bring more standardized levels of diagnostic accuracy in medicine. This is true of skin cancer detection, for example, and lung cancers. Now, a startup in Israel called Embryonics says its AI can improve the odds of successfully implanting a healthy embryo during in vitro fertilization.

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This biotech startup just raised £5.15M to build the future of medicines with AI

Budapest-based private biotech company Turbine develops a simulation-based, AI-driven, scalable drug discovery platform. The company’s Stimulated Cell unlocks novel therapies for high unmet oncology. Turbine’s technology has been validated in several collaborations with pharmaceutical companies such as Bayer.

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UK biotech startup Peptone grabs £1.84M to make drug discovery faster and more effective with AI

The global COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled a grave issue – the requirement to develop efficient drugs quickly. 2020 has been a tough year that has seen scientists heralded as heroes and the future of protein-based medicine has sat at the coalface of a pandemic. Several startups are looking to increase the pharmaceutical industry’s chances of developing future medicines quicker than ever before.

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