June 30, 2021 -- Antheia has raised $73 million to support the commercialization of its first pharmaceutical compound and the scale-up of production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and key starting materials on its synthetic biology platform.
Antheia is focused on the production of highly complex pharmaceuticals using whole-cell engineering, a technique that reconstructs multistep biosynthetic pathways in yeast cells. The fermentation-based manufacturing process for essential medicines enables production of engineered enzymes and transporters that work in concert to transform cells into factories for efficient assembly of complex molecules, according to the firm.
The company's first molecule is a starting material for a number of medicines at commercially relevant titers in pilot-scale runs (300 L). Antheia has shown that the resulting material is chemically equivalent to that extracted from plants.
The platform can be applied to a wide range of pharmaceuticals that typically rely on plant-derived molecules, including analgesics, antitussives, chemotherapeutics, and neurotransmitter inhibitors.
The oversubscribed series B financing was led by Viking Global Investors and included participation from Sherpalo Ventures and Hillspire.