BioHealth & Life Sciences / Maryland Startups / Innovation
Maryland life science & digital health companies drive record VC investments
By Julie Miller /
January 26, 2022
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In 2021, venture capitalists invested $2.27 billion in Maryland companies, according to the initial figures from the PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor Report. VC investment in 2021 shattered the record set in 2020 of $1.24 billion, and marks the third consecutive year of record-setting investment in Maryland companies. 

Given the high concentration of life sciences and digital health companies located in Maryland, it’s no surprise that investors turned their eyes, and their dollars, here last year. Significant local investments are fueling innovation across nearly every field, from cancer research to healthcare analytics. Below are some themes from Maryland’s banner year in venture capital. 
 

VC Dollars Power Healthcare Data, Analytics & Software

A global pandemic accelerated the need for digital healthcare tools like never before. And Maryland’s healthcare tech companies were ready and waiting, offering innovative solutions for patients and providers. With the increased need for digital healthcare innovations, investors turned their eyes to Maryland’s digital health companies in a big way in 2021.

  • Aledad secured a $100 million investment, which the company used to expand its value-based care model with health plans across the country.
  • b.well raised $32 million to assist its customers – employers, health plans, and health systems – with digital transformation.  
  • Protenus raised $21 million to support continued growth for AI-based analytics in hospital systems. 
  • Real Time Medical Systems secured $20 million to advance its interventional analytics platform. 
  • Insightin Health raised $12 million, which the company used to scale its proprietary inGAGE platform, which provides personalized member engagement for each step of the health care journey. 
  • A $6.2 million investment in emocha Health boosted strategic integrations and expanded the company’s remote clinical team of nurses and pharmacists. 

Funding Ignited Innovation in Cancer Detection & Treatment

Home to the National Cancer Institute, several university-based cancer research centers, and many life science companies focused on treating cancer, Maryland has long been a hotbed for cancer innovation. The influx of investments (many exceeding $100 million) in cancer innovations proved that Maryland will continue to be a frontrunner in cancer R&D. 

  • Cellular Biomedicine Group raised $120 million to accelerate the clinical development of its immune-oncology platform. 
  • Arcellx secured $115 million to advance its pipeline of cell therapies to treat multiple myeloma and acute myelogenous leukemia.
  • Sirnaomics raised $107 million to advance its novel RNAi therapeutics to treat various disorders, including cancer. 
  • A $103 million investment in Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) helped the company accelerate its cancer test kits. PGDx ultimately caught the eye of LabCorp, which acquired the company for $575 million late last year. 
  • Delfi Diagnostics raised $100 million to accelerate its liquid biopsy technology.

Other Maryland companies taking on cancer that received funding in 2021 include: 

  • Innovative Cellular Therapeutics in Rockville, which raised $40 million to develop its CoupleCAR platform technology and advance assets to tackle solid tumors.
  • Immunomic Therapeutics, which raised $16 million for its cancer programs. 
  • VLP Therapeutics, which raised $16 million for research and development of a cancer treatment vaccine.
  • Gliknik, which raised $11.5 million to advance treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases. 

Funding Supports Treatments for Everything from Inflammatory Disorders to Wounds

While cancer research often drives investment dollars, Maryland companies specializing in many other diseases and medical issues received significant funding in 2021 as well, including: 

  • ValenzaBio raised $70 million to advance pipeline programs into autoantibody-mediated diseases, thyroid eye disease, inflammatory disorders, and other therapeutic areas.
  • A $41 million investment in Adaptive Phage Therapeutics advanced therapies to treat multi-drug resistant infections. 
  • VITA Therapeutics’ $32 million round accelerated treatment for muscular dystrophies and other unmet medical needs.  
  • Veralox Therapeutics secured $16 million to accelerate treatment for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), a condition that can lead to low platelet counts.
  • Medcura raised $7.4 million in private equity to support its line of hemostatic and wound treatment assets.

More to Come

Through innovative programs, Maryland is making sure that investors keep capital flowing to local life science companies. Tax credit programs, like the Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit and the Innovation Investment Tax Credit, help spur investment in local life science companies by incentivizing investors with tax credits. 

 

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