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In 2019, BioGenerator, the investment arm of BioSTL, invested more than $3.2 million into 16 St. Louis pharma, agtech, medical device, and healthy-living companies.
Eight of those companies earned first-time investments. Three of these companies have relocated to St. Louis because of BioGenerator’s investment. The 16 investments are part of BioGenerator’s overall investment portfolio of more than 50 active St. Louis startup companies.
“We continue to build on our region’s strengths in human health and agtech, and we are growing the healthy-living sector with new investments as well,” said Eric Gulve, President of BioGenerator. “As more people become attentive to their dietary choices and to leading healthier lifestyles, BioGenerator has been creating, building, and investing in St. Louis-based companies that meet these needs. We’re proud to introduce BioGenerator’s robust 2019 investment portfolio that showcases St. Louis’ strengths in innovation.”
Eight of the 16 companies with 2019 BioGenerator investments are led by current or former BioGenerator Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR). BioGenerator identifies and funds talented individuals to build and lead these startups. BioGenerator also funds other positions, known as Venture Capital Fellows, that provide customized opportunities for talented individuals to learn new skills while contributing to the advancement of startup companies. In 2019, Fellows played leadership roles in three of the 16 companies.
“Management talent is critical to the success of startups and is probably the most important factor for professional investors,” said Charlie Bolten, Senior Vice President of BioGenerator. “We are aggressively attacking the regional startup management talent gap by providing financial support to proven Entrepreneurs in Residence, while simultaneously developing new talent with our Venture Capital Fellows program. In 2019, we spent more than $800,000 bringing leadership talent to St. Louis startup companies.”
In 2019, BioGenerator’s Top 3 largest investments were in:
Cadre Bioscience, new to the BioGenerator investment portfolio and led by a BioGenerator EIR, is developing a portfolio of new therapeutics for human diseases of high unmet medical need.
WELLTH Holdings, new to the BioGenerator investment portfolio and led by a BioGenerator EIR, grows high-potential, consumer packaged goods that provide health, wellness or well-being benefits by infusing capital, connections and consumer products expertise.
Wugen develops novel cellular therapies for human cancers. Wugen’s state-of-the-art gene editing technologies and cutting-edge cell therapy address key challenges that have limited the clinical use of cell therapies.
3 companies relocated to St. Louis because of BioGenerator’s investment:
Edison Agrosciences, which was previously relocated from North Carolina by BioGenerator to St. Louis and is led by a former BioGenerator EIR, commercializes innovative solutions for the production of plant-based industrial materials, with a primary focus on renewable sources for natural rubber. The global supply of natural rubber (90% of which is from SE Asia) is threatened by multiple environmental and economic factors.
Healthy Bytes, which relocated to St. Louis from New York and is new to the BioGenerator investment portfolio, is a tech-enabled services company that connects Registered Dieticians to employers, providers, and patients, utilizing existing benefit plans to provide nutritional counseling at no additional cost.
Readout Health, which relocated to St. Louis from San Francisco, is new to the BioGenerator investment portfolio and led by a former BioGenerator EIR. The company is commercializing a highly-accurate device to measure fat burning, empowering people to personalize and map their health journey through simple breath samples multiple times a day.
8 companies received first-time investments from BioGenerator:
The previously listed companies Cadre Bioscience, Healthy Bytes, WELLTH Holdings and Readout Health all were first-time investments for BioGenerator, who also invested in:
Aggio, new to the BioGenerator investment portfolio, develops cloud technology applications for the agriculture industry to drive decision-making rooted in data for farmers and the ag industry supply chain.
KaloCyte, new to the BioGenerator investment portfolio and led by a former BioGenerator EIR, develops red blood cell substitutes intended to be used for trauma care. Kalocyte’s product is designed for life-threatening situations where stored red blood cells are unavailable, undesirable, or in short supply.
Start Right, new to the BioGenerator investment portfolio, commercializes convenient, protein-packed, nutritional breakfast foods.
VaxNewMo, new to the BioGenerator investment portfolio, develops broader and more affordable vaccines in a shorter time frame. The company is using its proprietary manufacturing platform to combat “superbugs.”
Eight companies are led by current or former BioGenerator Entrepreneurs in Residence:
Canopy Biosciences, led by a former BioGenerator EIR, commercializes a portfolio of research tools and services for genetic engineering, molecular biology, proteomics, and personalized medicine. Canopy partners with leading researchers at top institutions to turn their discoveries into tangible products.
Synchrony Bio, led by a BioGenerator EIR, brings deep industry experience and technical expertise to early-stage companies with a focus on human diagnostics. Its portfolio includes Geneoscopy and OpenCell Technologies.
YourBevCo, led by a former BioGenerator EIR, markets novel consumer products that remove allergens and other problematic ingredients from beverages.
3 BioGenerator incubated companies got further investment in 2019:
Arch Innotek produces high-value natural ingredients for human and animal health by low-cost, sustainable, fermentation-based processes.
Bacterioscan commercializes reliable, precision instrumentation for the rapid detection of infectious pathogens and for quickly determining which specific antibiotics are effective for each patient. The Bacterioscan 216Dx system received FDA clearance for quickly detecting bacterial urinary tract infections.
Impetus Agriculture focuses on new insect control biologics for food crops that will combat the growing number of insects resistant to current commercial products. Impetus’ programs are designed to specifically circumvent insects’ resistance mechanisms.