Top 10 Life Sciences Startups Making a Breakthrough in 2021

Life Science

Life Sciences

Life sciences startups are making significant technological breakthroughs to advance pharmaceutical processes

The life sciences industry is on the verge of significant transformation. As COVID-19 hit the world, the industry has been at the frontline, managing clinical trials to develop vaccines for the disease immediately. The pandemic has spur innovations and changes such as transitions toward decentralized clinical trials and patient-centric approaches. As a result, the world has seen a growing trove of life sciences startups advancing the pharma, biotech, and medical device industries

IndustryWired has listed the top 10 Life Sciences startups that are making breakthrough innovations in 2021.


Alphazyme is a biotech startup specializing in the field of enzyme development and production. Founded in 2018, the company is an enzyme development and production expert. It partners with the manufacturers of nucleic acid therapies and detection platforms to develop and produce affordable, reliable enzymes which meet the specifications of the rapidly expanding market for custom DNA and RNA molecules, genomic medicines, and genetic tests.



Illumina is an innovative biotechnology startup for genetic variation and function. The startup is aspired to transform human health. Its initial products enabled researchers to explore DNA at an entirely new scale, helping them create the first map of gene variations associated with health, disease, and drug response. Recently, Illumina announced the launch of the Illumina SARS-CoV-2 Data Toolkit, a new suite of data analysis tools and workflow functionality for researchers working with the virus using next-generation sequencing (NGS).



Proscia, a Pennsylvania-based biotech software company, is changing the way pathology is practiced. With the company’s Concentric digital pathology platform and pipeline of AI-powered applications, laboratories are leveraging new kinds of data to accelerate discoveries and improve patient outcomes. 


Shape Therapeutics

Shape Therapeutics is developing a next-generation of Gene Therapies to cure some of the most genetic diseases in the world. Its proprietary RNA technologies leverage machinery already present in human cells to safely and efficiently correct genetic mutations, while avoiding immunogenicity and DNA damage. This process will provide safer treatments that work with the body, not against it.


Artiva Biotherapeutics

San Diego, California-based biotech startup Artiva Biotherapeutics develops and commercializes allogeneic natural killer (NK) cell therapies. The company’s pipeline of universal and targeted NK cell therapies and CAR-NK therapies leverages the innate biology and safety features of NK cells. It enhances their efficacy through chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), therapeutic antibody combination therapy, and genetic engineering.



Synthekine is an engineered cytokine therapeutics company developing disease-optimized treatments. The California-based startup designs differentiated cytokine therapeutics to be both safe and efficacious. Its platform offers a chance to revolutionize how cytokine therapeutics are discovered. In September last year, Synthekine announced the closing of an US$82 million Series A financing to advance its lead therapeutic programs into clinical studies, expand its discovery pipeline and hone its proprietary cytokine engineering platforms.


Immuneering Corporation

Immuneering, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based bioinformatics startup, develops new medicines unlikely to be found by traditional drug discovery methods. The company’s proprietary computational Disease Cancelling Technology (DCT) platform enables Immuneering’s drug discovery programs. The company also provides unparalleled computational biology capabilities to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Recently, Immuneering has raised U$62 million in Series B financing to advance to clinical-stage programs focused on targets in the RAS/MAPK pathway.



Brooklyn, New York-based biotech startup Auxilius provides clinical trial financial management software for Biopharma. The Auxilius platform contextualizes costs to ensure companies are getting what they paid for, and have real-time data necessary to manage cost risk and intervene to ensure trial success.



Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. The startups’ infrastructure is designed to change as the world does, offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance. Curative was founded to develop tests for sepsis in January 2020 and pivoted to COVID-19 in early March 2020 upon realizing the urgent need for test development and production in the United States.



Adnexi is a strategic disease intelligence platform for biopharma. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, the company discovers patient advocacy groups (PAGs) and key opinion leaders (KOLs). Adnexi leverages advanced algorithms to identify clinicians, researchers, key publications, patients’ advocacy leaders, and clinical trials for any disease and provides teamwork and efficiency tools to manage these key relationships. Adnexi keeps track of the treatment ecosystem for a disease to track all organizations developing treatments.