In recent years, exosome start-up companies have been the recipients of hundreds of millions of dollars in investor funding. Clearly, investors are feeling favorable toward companies developing exosome products and there is a growing belief that the industry is poised for growth.
Most Richly Funded Exosome Startups
To date, four companies have dominated the exosome funding world. These companies are:
1. Codiak Biosciences – Total Funding of $257.4 Million
Codiak Biosciences was launched in 2016 when the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center joined two venture capital firms (ARCH Venture Partners and Flagship Ventures) and co-founder Eric Lander, Ph.D, to begin operations with $80+ million in Series A and B financing. Codiak has used the funds to develop exosomes for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes, with an emphasis on cancer-related applications.
Investors in Codiak’s initial $80+ million Series A and Series B funding syndicate included:
- ARCH Venture Partners and Flagship Ventures (co-lead founding investors)
- Fidelity Management and Research Company
- Alaska Permanent Fund
- Alexandria Venture Investments
Codiak Biosciences then went live on the NASAQ stock market under the ticker “CDAK ” on October 14th, 2020. Its stock had an opening price of $15.00. After its IPO, Codiak raised additional funding through three post-IPO rounds. Its latest round was a Post-IPO Equity round that concluded on September 12th, 2022.
Across its Series A, B, and C financing rounds, as well as its three post-IPO rounds, Codiak Biosciences has raised $257.4 million.
2. Exosome Diagnostics – Total Funding of $112 Million
Exosome Diagnostics is another example of a richly funded exosome start-up. Founded in 2008, in Waltham, MA, Exosome Diagnostics is “commercializing minimally invasive molecular diagnostics in blood and urine to enable doctors to select optimal therapies for cancer and other diseases.”
Exosome Diagnostics raised $80 million in its Series A and Series B rounds, which it followed with $30 million in its Series C round.
Additionally, on June 25, 2018, Bio-Techne announced it was acquiring Exosome Diagnostics for $250 million in cash and up to $325 million for achieving certain milestones.
With Exosome Diagnostics controlling approximately 200 filed patents and applications pertaining to exosome-based diagnostics, Bio-Techne is betting the deal will position it as a leader in the rapidly growing non-invasive liquid biopsy market.
3. Evox Therapeutics – Total Funding of $169.2 Million
Based in Oxford, UK, Evox Therapeutics was founded in 2016 by Professor Matthew Wood of Oxford University, Assistant Professor Samir EL Andaloussi and Dr Per Lundin of the Karolinska Institutet. It is focused on utilizing the honing and delivery capabilities of extracellular vesicles (EV) to develop cell-free therapeutics.
On September 3, 2018, Evox Therapeutics Ltd announced it has raised £35.5 million ($46.5 million) of in a Series B financing round. Redmile Group led the Series B round, with significant new investments from GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Cowen Healthcare Investments. Evox had previously secured £10 million ($13 million) as part of a Series A seed financing from Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI).
In total, Evox has had six funding events consisting of:
- Series A – May 11, 2016
- Series B – Sept 2, 2018
- Grant – November 13, 2018
- Grant – March 22, 2019
- Convertible Note – June 9, 2020
- Series C – February 18, 2021
In total, Evox Therapeutics has raised approximately $169.2 million across its Series A and B financing rounds.
4. ExoCoBio, Inc. – Total Funding of $47 Million
ExoCoBio is a venture-backed startup that develops exosome-based cosmeceuticals and biopharmaceuticals for skin and tissue regeneration. It was established in January 2017 to develop innovative biopharmaceuticals and cosmeceuticals based on stem cell-derived exosomes.
In August 2020, ExCoBio raised 9.3M in a Series C round. Previously in September 2018, ExoCoBio Inc. had raised $27 million in its series B funding. Prior to that, it had achieved $11 million in its Series A round in April 2017. The Series A investment was secured from top tier South Korean venture capital firms, including: SBI Investment, Atinum Investment, ID Ventures, and Dt&Investment.
Several top tier Korean investors have also supported ExCoBio, including: Seven Tree Equity Partners, CSQUARED Global Asset Management, TS Investment Partners, K2 Investment, Intervest, KDB Capital, Atinum Investment, GU Equity Partners, QUANTUM Ventures Korea, Platinum technology Investment.
In aggregate, ExoCoBio has raised about $47 million accumulatively.
The Funding of Exosome Startups
While it pales in comparison the investments raised by the other companies, Australian biotech company VivaZome Therapeutics was also awarded a grant of $2.18M to support the project: Enabling Exosome Therapy: Developing an Advanced Manufacturing Process. It received the funds under the Australian government’s Advanced Manufacturing Scheme.
What other exosome companies are you watching and are they pursuing outside investment? Share your thoughts in the comments below.