MENLO PARK, Calif. — Antheia, a synthetic biology company enabling next-generation plant-inspired medicines, today announced $40 million in venture debt financing from Oxford Finance LLC and Silicon Valley Bank, alongside plans to construct a new pilot scale biomanufacturing facility. The financing will support Antheia’s expansion with a 14,700 square-foot pilot plant located next to Antheia’s headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. The new pilot plant will enable the company to significantly improve efficiency and support the scale up of its growing portfolio of products.
“Pilot plants are an essential component of scaling with biomanufacturing, and high-quality pilot plant capacity is increasingly scarce in the U.S.,” said Zack McGahey, Chief Operating Officer at Antheia. “As we advance our entire pipeline of pharmaceutical candidates, investing in our own on-site facility will be critical for optimizing strain performance and improving efficiency as we move to industrial scale production.”
The planned facility will provide Antheia with 500L of additional fermentation capacity to support the scale up of various active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) candidates. By utilizing this facility, the company anticipates two to four months of time savings per run, improved customer engagement through accelerated sampling and validation timelines, and increased utilization rates. Antheia will begin construction in 2023 with the goal to be operational by the end of 2023.
“Antheia is utilizing synthetic biology to create both existing and new medicines in more controlled and economical ways,” said Christopher A. Herr, Senior Managing Director at Oxford Finance. “We are pleased to partner with Silicon Valley Bank to support Antheia’s facility expansion and its growing pipeline of products.”
“We’re thrilled to support Antheia and their mission to disrupt the traditional agricultural-based supply chain and accelerate the discovery of new medicines,” said Peter Sletteland, Director of Life Science and Healthcare at Silicon Valley Bank. “As lenders with a focus on the longer-term growth trajectory, we are excited about the company’s future.”
Antheia aims to transform the supply chain for plant-based APIs that are critical to the development of many essential medicines, yet reliant on fragile, unpredictable, inefficient, and costly agriculture-based sources. Using synthetic biology, Antheia is developing several classes of plant-based APIs that can’t be manufactured through synthetic chemistry, including analgesics, neurotransmitter inhibitors, sedatives, chemotherapeutics, and antiinfectives. This financing enables Antheia’s strategic investment in a pilot plant, which will be instrumental in optimizing the scale-up process for the company’s pipeline of plant-based compounds, which is aligned with the FDA and WHO lists of essential medicines.
In addition to the announcement of its new pilot plant, Antheia has also joined the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM). The AAM was founded to improve access to safe, high-quality, and effective medicines to all and is well aligned with Antheia’s mission to transform pharmaceutical supply chains to ensure equitable access to critical medicines.
Antheia is unlocking the medicinal power of nature with synthetic biology. Through a novel whole-cell engineering approach to reconstruct complex molecules in yeast, Antheia’s platform enables the discovery and manufacturing of plant-inspired drugs of unprecedented complexity and diversity. Antheia’s team of scientists and technologists is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.
About Oxford Finance LLC
Oxford Finance is a specialty finance firm providing senior secured loans to public and private life sciences and healthcare services companies worldwide. For over 20 years, Oxford has delivered flexible financing solutions to its clients, enabling these companies to maximize their equity by leveraging their assets. Since 2002, Oxford has funded over $9 billion in loans. Oxford is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, with additional offices in California (San Diego, Palo Alto, and Los Angeles), and the greater Boston and New York City metropolitan areas.
About Silicon Valley Bank
Silicon Valley Bank, the bank of the world’s most innovative companies and investors, provides commercial banking services, expertise and insights to the technology, life science and healthcare, private equity, venture capital and premium wine industries. Silicon Valley Bank operates in centers of innovation around the world and is one of SVB’s core businesses with SVB Capital, SVB Private and SVB Securities. With global commercial banking services, Silicon Valley Bank helps address the unique needs of its dynamic, fast-growing, innovative clients.