Top 20 Biotech Startups and Scaleups in San Diego

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Top 20 Biotech Startups and Scaleups in San Diego

San Diego’s Biotech Industry

One of the largest biotech centers in the United States is located in San Diego. We have selected twenty San Diego-based biotech startups and scaleups that have received significant venture capital funding.

San Diego has become one of the significant biotech hubs thanks to relatively affordable lab spaces, access to a strong network of biotech investors, and a skilled bio-economy workforce. It competes with other significant biotech hubs in the US, such as those in Greater Boston Area, North Carolina's Research Triangle Park, and South San Francisco.

Numerous notable life sciences organizations are based in the San Diego area, including the Salk Institute, Scripps Research, and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Pfizer, Illumina, and Thermo Fisher Scientific are just a few of the many biotech and pharmaceutical sector titans with a presence in the region.

In San Diego, numerous private biotech firms are focusing on ground-breaking discoveries, many of which are situated in the La Jolla neighborhood. They get funding from venture capital (VC) companies that specialize in the life sciences, including regional participants Boxer Capital LLC and Takeda Ventures Inc. 

The biopharma company Vividion Therapeutics, Inc., which Bayer AG acquired for $1.5 billion in 2021, is one of the most promising up-and-coming stars in the region.

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Featuring the Best Biotech Startups in San Diego:

Without further ado, here are the top 20 private biotech firms in the San Diego area:


Chief Executive Officer:  Rahul Singhvi 

Founded: 2020

National Resilience (aka Resilience) is an emerging technology-focused biomanufacturing company that offers production and development solutions for complex medicines from cell and gene therapies, and nucleic acids to vaccines. The business is committed to preserving pharmaceutical supply chains against disruption and increasing access to complicated medications.

Over the course of 4 rounds, Resilience has raised a total of $2B in investment. A Series D round of funding was received by them on June 6, 2022. The most notable investors in this biotech business include Magnetic Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners.


Chief Executive Officer: Fred Aslan

Founded: 2019

Artiva Biotherapeutics is a biotherapeutic startup that focuses on developing and commercializing allogeneic natural killer (NK) cell therapies for treating hematologic malignancies or solid tumors. 

On February 26, 2021, Artiva Biotherapeutics closed its Series B round. This biotech startup's notable investors include Wellington Management and Janus Henderson Investors.


Chief Executive Officer: Kevin Sayer

Founded: 1999

Located in San Diego, Dexcom is a Biotech firm that aims to provide the Dexcom G6 CGM System, through which a person can monitor their blood sugar levels without having to stick their fingers. Using a Dexcom CGM system, one can see their glucose values and trends in detail.

On May 9, 2017, Dexcom completed its last investment round, which was a Post-IPO Debt transaction. Significant investors in this biotech company include RWI Group and St. Paul Venture Capital.


Chief Executive Officer: Lloyd Sanders

Founded: 2008

Epic Sciences is a biotech scaleup that is developing novel diagnostics to personalize and advance the treatment and management of cancer. The novel AR-V7 CTC liquid biopsy test from Epic is a diagnostic tool for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer that has received clinical validation.

On June 1, 2022, Epic Sciences closed its Series F round. Notable investors in this biotech company include Blue Ox Healthcare Partners and Deerfield.


Chief Executive Officer: Ken Song

Founded: 2020

RayzeBio is a biotherapeutics and diagnostic h startup committed to enhancing cancer patient outcomes by utilizing the potency of tailored radioisotopes. On June 15, 2021, RayzeBio completed its Series C round. 

Significant investors in this biotech company include Perceptive Advisors and Logos Capital.


Chief Executive Officer: Molly He

Founded: 2017

Element Biosciences is a multidisciplinary biostartup with a focus on developing cutting-edge genomic analysis tools for the research and diagnostic industries. They create a flexible and high-performing DNA sequencing platform that offers high-quality data, improves workflow, and expands the usability of next-generation sequencing technology.

On June 29, 2021, Element Biosciences announced the completion of its most recent funding round from a Series C investment. 

Important investors in this biotech company include JS Capital Management and Fidelity Management & Research Company.


Chief Executive Officer- Jacqueline Shea

Founded - 1979

Inovio is a Biotech firm with the goal of quickly delivering precisely tailored DNA medicines to the market in order to treat, cure, and safeguard individuals from disorders connected to HPV, cancer, and infectious diseases.

The last investment round for Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a Post-IPO Equity transaction, was closed on January 20, 2021. This biotech startup's notable investors include the U.S. Department of Defense and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.


Chief Executive Officer- Damien McDevitt

Founded - 2018

Aspen Neuroscience is a biotech firm that develops tailored cell replacement therapy for people with specific neurological illnesses. The skin cells of the patients are used to create the cell treatments, which are then transformed into induced pluripotent stem cells in a lab so they can develop into new neurons.

On May 9, 2022, Aspen Neuroscience closed its Series B round. 

GV and Frazier Life Sciences are two notable investors in this biotech company.



Chief Executive Officer- Francis deSouza

Founded - 1998

Illumina is a global pioneer in the field of genomics, which crosses the barriers between biology and technology. The goal of Illumina is to enhance human health by utilizing the potential of the genome.

Over the course of one round, Illumina raised $28M in investment. On January 10, 2000, a Venture - Series Unknown round was raised.

The CW Group and Venrock are a couple of this biostartup's notable investors.


Chief Executive Officer- Chris Neary

Founded - 2009

NanoCellect Biomedical is a biotech company developing and commercializing cell analysis and sorting. For life science researchers to conduct cellular analysis, create molecular diagnostics, and advance customized medicine, they want to make flow cytometry and cell sorting technology more accessible and inexpensive. On August 13, 2021, NanoCellect Biomedical announced the completion of its Series D fundraising round.

This biotech business has significant investors including FusionX Ventures and Vertical Venture Partners.

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Chief Executive Officer- Kevin Lind

Founded - 1977

Arena Pharmaceuticals is a biotech company focused on delivering solutions for cardiovascular, central nervous system, inflammatory and metabolic diseases.

On October 28, 2020, Arena Pharmaceuticals announced the completion of its most recent investment round, a Post-IPO Equity transaction.

Farallon Capital Management and Deerfield Capital Management are two notable investors in this biotech business.


Chief Executive Officer- Joshua Britton

Founded - 2019

Debut Biotech is a biotechnology company that provides specialty enzyme solutions combined with continuous manufacturing. On August 12, 2021, Debut Biotech completed its Series A round.

This biotech business has major investors including Material Impact Fund and KdT Ventures.


Chief Executive Officer- Cynthia Collins

Founded - 2013

Human Longevity is a genomic-based, health intelligence company empowering proactive healthcare and enabling a life better lived. On November 7, 2019, Human Longevity closed its most recent round of fundraising from a Series C round.

This biotech startup has significant investors including Celgene and Emerging Technology Partners.


Chief Executive Officer- Gene Lay

Founded - 2002

BioLegend is a biotechnology firm that offers immunological reagents for biomedical research. The business creates superior, cutting-edge recombinant proteins, bioassays, and other tools for biomedical research.

On July 26, 2021, PerkinElmer purchased BioLegend for $5.3 billion. This transaction was completed using cash and stock.


Chief Informative Officer- Greg Sasso

Founded - 1997

NuVasive is a medical device firm whose focus is to create minimally invasive surgical products and procedurally integrated solutions. On October 19, 2011, NuVasive completed its most recent funding round, which was an equity post-IPO transaction.

Pappas Ventures and William Blair are a couple of the major investors in this biotech business.


Chief Executive Officer- Dan Tilley

Founded - 1978

A global provider of scientific services, EAG Laboratories works with clients in a wide range of tech-related businesses. EAG Laboratories assists businesses in product innovation and improvement, quality assurance and safety, intellectual property protection, and compliance with changing international standards through multidisciplinary expertise in the life, materials, and engineering sciences.

On September 18, 2017, Eurofins Scientific acquired EAG Laboratories.


Chief Executive Officer- Paul Nowak

Founded - 2005

Biotix is a manufacturer of laboratory consumable tools and liquid handling solutions.

On April 6, 2012, Biotix completed its last round of fundraising from a Venture - Series Unknown.


Chief Executive Officer- Kent Payne

Founded - 2005

BioDuro-Sundia, an Advent International portfolio company, is a global contract research, development and manufacturing organization (CRDMO) for over 27 years. The company provides biotech and pharmaceutical partners with fully integrated services to support their efforts from target identification to commercial drug product manufacturing. The company is based in the US and China, with over 3,000 employees and 10 global sites across 7 cities.


Chief Executive Officer- Mark Gergen

Founded - 2014

Poseida is a biopharmaceutical startup in the clinical stages that uses gene engineering expertise to create tailored therapeutics. On August 4, 2022, Poseida Therapeutics completed its last investment round, which was a Post-IPO Equity transaction. 

Some of the notable investors of this biostartup include Schonfeld Strategic Advisors and Fidelity Management and Research Company.


Chief Executive Officer- Eric Ostertag

Founded - 1995

Prometheus Laboratories excels in diagnostic products and pharmaceuticals. Their team works to identify the top emerging technologies for improving patient care around the globe, and their products focus on a range of ailments including Crohn's disease, kidney problems, arthritis, and leukemia. 

On January 1, 1999, Prometheus Laboratories completed its last round of private equity funding. Pamlico Capital is the major investor of Prometheus Laboratories Inc.

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Scispot Supports the Best Biotech Companies around the World

Scispot has become the go-to operating platform for biostartups in San Diego. Scispot combines the critical functionalities of electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) and lab information management systems (LIMS) into one user-intuitive platform and helps biostartups accelerate their R&D and bring their scientific breakthroughs to market faster. 

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