Market Trend

10 Biotech Startups to Spotlight in Asia

May Jang
May 9, 2024

The biotech sector has seen a surge of innovation and entrepreneurial activity in Asia in recent years. Driven by advancements in fields like precision medicine, cell therapy, AI-powered drug discovery, and digital health, a new generation of startups is emerging to address unmet needs and transform healthcare delivery.

The Asian biotech startup ecosystem is thriving, attracting significant venture capital funding and collaborating with established industry players to accelerate the pace of innovation. The investments in the Asian biotech sector remained above pre-pandemic levels in 2023, with Series A funding accounting for almost half of all startup funding.

The future outlook for the Asian biotech startup ecosystem is promising and optimistic as well. We will see that the strategic investments focused on quality over quantity, with investors favoring startups with seasoned teams and robust scientific solutions. Plus there will be a rising demand for new therapies and drugs to address various health challenges in the region, creating opportunities for biotech startups.

Listing 10 startups with AI in Asia

Let’s take a glimpse at the 10 rising biotech startups in Asia. Number is irrelevant to ranking.

1. LUCA Science(Japan, Series B)

LUCA Science is a Japanese biotechnology company that is developing a novel class of mitochondrial pharmaceutical agents. The company was founded in 2018 and is based in Tokyo. LUCA Science's technology focuses on isolating and delivering functional mitochondria as a potential therapy for a range of diseases.

LUCA Science's approach is based on the idea that delivering healthy mitochondria could help protect tissues from damage, such as in the case of heart attacks and strokes where blood flow is blocked. LUCA Science is currently in the preclinical stage and is working towards advancing its lead candidates into clinical trials. 

(Refer to: LUCA Science Was Selected in the Japanese Startup Support Program ‘J-Startup’ by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan)

2. Genscript Biotech(China, Series B)

Genscript Biotech is a Chinese biotechnology company that provides a wide range of life science products and services. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Nanjing, China. Genscript Biotech operates globally, with subsidiaries and offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Genscript Biotech's core business focuses on gene synthesis, protein expression, and antibody development. The company has established itself as a major provider of these critical tools and technologies to the global life sciences and pharmaceutical industries. In addition to its service offerings, Genscript Biotech also develops its own proprietary products, including novel antibodies and gene editing tools. 

(Refer to: GenScript Announces Its Inaugural Life Science Research Grant Project)

3. Nusantics(Indonesia, Series A)

Nusantics is an Indonesian genomics and biotechnology company that was founded in 2019. The company is focused on developing innovative solutions in the fields of microbiome analysis, medical diagnostics, and personalized healthcare

Nusantics went on to develop two generations of highly sensitive and specific PCR-based COVID-19 test kits, which were produced and distributed across Indonesia in partnership with state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma.

Nusantics has positioned itself as a pioneer in Indonesia's growing biotech ecosystem, leveraging the country's rich biodiversity to advance its research and product development.

(Refer to: Executive column - 'What we do is not a gimmick': Nusantics)

4. Agri House(Cambodia, -)

Agri House is a Cambodian startup that produces and sells cricket-based, nutritionally-balanced snacks for the country's primary school-aged youth market. Founded in 2019, Agri House is part of the growing biotech and agribusiness ecosystem in Cambodia, leveraging the country's rich agricultural resources and biodiversity.

Agri House's cricket-based snacks are designed to address malnutrition and provide a sustainable protein source for Cambodian children. By incorporating crickets, which are rich in protein, iron, and calcium, Agri House aims to improve the nutritional intake of its target market. The company sources its crickets from local farms, supporting the development of Cambodia's insect farming industry. 

(Refer to: Startup Introduction - Agri House)

5. BGF Plantrix(Thailand, Series unknown)

BGF Plantrix is a Thai biotechnology company that specializes in developing innovative and sustainable plant-produced recombinant growth factors and cytokines. Founded over a decade ago, the company leverages its expertise in plant biotechnology to manufacture these important biomolecules for use in various industries, including cultivated meat production and regenerative medicine.

While the search results do not mention any specific funding rounds for BGF Plantrix, the company’s performance and partnerships with the other players suggest it has been able to secure some form of investment or support to advance its technology and business. 

(Refer to: How Science Competitions Inspire Innovation in Asia-Pacific)

6. Biogenes Technologies(Malaysia, Series A)

Biogenes Technologies is a Malaysian biotechnology company that specializes in developing innovative molecular diagnostics and genomics solutions. Founded in 2015, Biogenes to expand its proprietary technology platforms across Southeast Asia, including into markets like the Philippines and Indonesia. 

The company also plans to use the funds to build a new medical-grade manufacturing facility and further advance its portfolio of aptamer-based diagnostic solutions.


7. Gene Solutions(Vietnam, Series C)

Gene Solutions is a Vietnamese biotechnology company that provides innovative genetic testing solutions for reproductive health, chronic disease screening, and early cancer detection. Founded in 2017 by three Vietnamese scientists, the company has quickly become a major player in the country's growing biotech ecosystem.

Gene Solutions currently offers a comprehensive suite of 28 genetic tests, including non-invasive prenatal testing(NIPT) and liquid biopsy-based cancer screening. The company has established a strong presence across Vietnam, partnering with over 2,000 hospitals and clinics in all 63 provinces. Gene Solutions claims to have conducted over 350,000 genetic tests to date, helping to improve healthcare standards and outcomes for Vietnamese patients.

(Refer to: Gene Solutions is available across 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam)

8. Twoplus Fertility(Singapore, Seed)

Twoplus Fertility is a Singaporean company that provides innovative reproductive health solutions to help couples conceive. Founded in 2019, the company is focused on making fertility care more accessible and affordable through its suite of at-home testing kits and fertility aids.

In 2020, Twoplus Fertility raised $500,000 in a convertible note funding round, with participation from investors like Y Combinator. This early-stage capital has allowed the company to develop and launch its flagship products, including its home insemination syringe and fertility meal plan service.

Most recently, in August 2023, Twoplus Fertility unveiled its ‘Meals for Fertility’ program - a comprehensive meal plan service designed to provide couples trying to conceive with nutritionally-optimized meals.

(Refer to: Could this £49 fertility device help you conceive?)

9. Neurosensum(Indonesia, Series A2)

Neurosensum is an Indonesian neuroscience and AI-based consumer research firm that provides innovative solutions to help brands better understand consumer behavior and preferences. Founded in 2017 and based in Jakarta, the company leverages cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality, biometrics, and machine learning to deliver actionable insights to its clients.

By providing brands with a more holistic understanding of consumer psychology, Neurosensum aims to help them develop more effective marketing strategies and products.

(Refer to: With VR and neuroscience, startup snags big clients by making market research more honest)

10. Cosomil(Japan, pre-series A)

Cosomil is a Japanese biotechnology company that is developing blood-based early cancer detection tests using its proprietary single enzyme activity profiling technology. Founded in 2019, the company is part of the growing biotech ecosystem in Japan, leveraging innovative approaches to address the critical need for improved cancer screening and diagnostics.

Cosomil's approach to cancer detection involves analyzing changes in the activity of specific enzymes in a patient's blood sample. By identifying unique enzyme signatures, the company aims to detect the presence of cancer at much earlier stages compared to conventional methods. This technology has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes by enabling timely diagnosis and treatment.

(Refer to: Pre-Series A Funding to Accelerate R&D of Cancer Early Detection Blood Test)

Write : May Jang

Edit : Jinny Kim (underdogs)



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May Jang
IT content, tech biz contributer
IT content, Tech biz contributer for 10+ years.