Debut Biotech announced its $22.6M Series A financing, led by Material Impact. Participating investors include Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, Fine Structure Ventures, ACVC Ventures, Humboldt Fund, Cantos Ventures, as well as existing investors, including KdT Ventures.
The company plans to use the funds to commercialize ingredients developed from its proprietary cell-free biomanufacturing platform, which has applications across various industries from food and wellness products to cosmetics, colors, therapeutics, and other industrial applications, according to Joshua Britton, PhD, its CEO.
To scale the commercialization of its technology and expand into new products, Debut Biotech will expand its footprint to a 26,000-square-foot facility in San Diego and triple the size of its team across locations in San Diego and Atlanta, adds Britton, who notes that these facility investments will enable Debut Biotech’s manufacturing to be done entirely in the U.S.
By overcoming the limitations of cell-based fermentation, Debut Biotech produces high-value ingredients rapidly and more sustainably, claims Britton, who maintains that low-value and sustainable feedstocks can be used as inputs in place of petrochemicals, while reactions can be generated in a fraction of the time.
“These breakthroughs result in a more sustainable and cost-effective approach to manufacturing ingredients, including those inaccessible in nature,” he points out.
“We’re thrilled to be leading this investment in Debut Biotech,” says Corinna Chen, partner at Material Impact. “We believe that a majority of high-value ingredients in new products will be biomanufactured in the near future and beyond. It’s clear to us that Debut Biotech is the company that is leading the way. By leveraging enzymes in a continuous cell-free system, they have created an entirely new methodology for developing novel and more sustainable products that are ubiquitous in our lives.”
Technology developed to overcome traditional processing limitations
Debut Biotech’s proprietary biomanufacturing platform utilizes cell-free and other advanced approaches such as continuous biomanufacturing to overcome the limitations of traditional methods, dramatically reducing the need for space, water, and expensive and unsustainable inputs, according to a company spokesperson.
“Creating sustainable and effective methods for manufacturing is paramount to the future of commercial and industrial products, and in turn the health of people and the planet,” says Dan Phillips, managing director of Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, and board member of Debut Biotech. “While traditional manufacturing inches forward incrementally, Debut Biotech has achieved a step change leap in speed and cost of production, delivering the needed advances to realize outsize impact.”
In addition to producing rare, high-value, and novel compounds, Debut Biotech’s technology also improves traditional ingredient manufacturing, explains Britton. The company recently announced a joint venture with fine chemical manufacturer DIC to leverage advanced biomanufacturing approaches to produce natural color ingredients to be used across DIC’s portfolio of products.
“As one of the largest Series A fundraises in the synthetic biology space, this investment is a testament to the hard work of the team at Debut Biotech,” continues Britton.
Th financing announcement comes shortly after Debut Biotech secured several strategic partnerships to co-develop products across a range of industries. In addition to the latest venture with DIC, Debut Biotech has partnered with Battelle to sustainably transform plastic waste into lubricants. They’ve also entered into a partnership with DSM to produce a range of high-value chemicals across a wide range of industries and applications.