Grant and Funding Programs for Pharma & Biopharma Startups

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Biopharmaceutical and biotech startups companies face many challenges in the quest to advance early-stage drug candidates through development, clinical trials, and onto commercialization.

Funding is among the top priorities and is essential for the continued progress of promising drug candidates. Estimates vary, but it can cost $8-10 million just to get to IND stage, another $8-10 million for Phase I, and $20-40 million for Phase II, depending on design. Phase III costs considerably more.

Startup programs, grants, and funding sources can help accelerate the journey to your next milestone.

The application cycle for the 2024 NA Advance Biotech Grant Program has started. Click the link below to submit your application today!

Biotech Resources

  • M Ventures

    Our strategic venture capital arm globally invests in innovative ideas, driving transformation. Discover the future of healthcare and technology with us.

  • Open Innovation Offers

    Join forces with our open innovation programs, stimulating creative solutions for humanity’s greatest challenges. Explore, innovate, and shape the future with us.

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Explore the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s grant opportunities. A valuable collaborator resource to solving key health and development problems worldwide.

  • Concept to Clinic: Bringing Your Molecule to Market

    Uncover key insights from our Life Science Executive Summit, a platform for biotech innovation, funding strategies, and process development.

  • Emerging Biotech Executive Summit: Your Connection to Success

    Unlock the potential of biotech with important excerpts from our Emerging Biotech Executive Summit. Gain insights from industry leaders and advance your molecule to market.

Our Grant Programs

We offer several grant programs to help biopharmaceutical and biotech start-ups, entrepreneurs, scientists, and students bring innovative ideas to the next level.

The Advance Biotech Grant Program

The Advance Biotech Grant Program is offered on a regular basis in different regions of the world. The program recognizes stand-out emerging biopharmaceutical and biotech start-ups and awards grant recipients with products, services, and consultation to advance production and help accelerate the path to commercialization. Since 2014, more than 40 biotech startups have been recognized through this Program. We are honored to support their missions as they pursue therapeutic solutions for patients suffering from cancer, brain tumors, osteoarthritis, and cardiovascular disorders. To be considered for the grant, you must describe your therapeutic focus, clinical strategy, and explain how we can help you overcome challenges and address gaps in expertise to bring your innovation across the finish line.

Apply to the 2024 North America Grant Program

The North America grand prize for an emerging, start-up biotech or biopharmaceutical company includes $258,000 in products and services and consultation support such as bioprocessing technologies and consultation services, contract testing services,  and a subscription to the Emprove® Premium.

The application cycle for the 2024 NA Advance Biotech Grant Program has started! Click HERE to submit your application today!

Previous Winners

  • Proteologix (Grant Prize Winner)
  • Chimeron (Finalist)
  • Vesigen (Finalist)

Read the Grant Winner Announcement

  • Elevian (Grand Prize Winner)
  • Strand (Finalist)
  • Mucommune (Finalist)

Read the Grant Winner Announcement

  • VectorY (Grand Prize Winner)

Read the Grant Winner Announcement

  • Combined Therapeutics (Grand Prize Winner)
  • Tenaya Therapeutics (Finalist)
  • Respana Therapeutics (Finalist)

Read the Grant Winner Announcement

  • VAR2 Pharmaceuticals, engaged in the design and development of a proprietary therapeutic proteins targeting cancer-specific carbohydrate structures for multiple cancer indications.

Read the Grant Winner Announcement

  • Mycenax Biotech (first prize)
  • PharmaEssentia Corporation (second prize)
  • AbGenomics International Inc.
  • AnTaimmu BioMed Co., Ltd.
  • Sound Biopharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.
  • Elpiscience Biopharma, Ltd.
  • HanX Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Hangzhou Sumgen Biotech Co,. Ltd.
  • Rubicon Biotechnology, for its approach to treat chronic pain using a biologic selectively inhibit neuroinflammation without affecting normal motor or sensory function.
  • TechnoVax Inc, for developing a virus-like particle platform that facilitates the development and the production of a range of vaccines
  • RAFT Pharmaceuticals, for its approach to treat chronic pain using a biologic to selectively inhibit neuroinflammation without affecting normal motor or sensory function.

Read the Grant Winner Announcement

  • GlioCure, for developing an anti-tumor and neuroprotective peptide, GC01, to treat the most frequent and aggressive type of brain tumor, glioblastoma
  • GenoScience Pharma, to explore new agents such as GNS561 – a never-before used mechanism-of-action in commercialized cancer treatments/anti-cancer drugs in the pipeline.
  • ResoTher Pharma, to develop new medicines for cardiovascular and inflammatory disorders.

Read the Grant Winner Announcement

  • GeneQuine Biotherapeutics (first prize), for developing novel therapies for osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease with high unmet medical needs
  • TILT Biotherapeutics (second prize), for enabling tumor T-cell therapy with oncolytic viruses
  • Reneuron (third prize), for developing novel stem cell therapies targeting areas of significant unmet or poorly met medical needs
  • Magnus Life Science (fourth prize), for funding, building and managing companies to translate innovative, curiosity driven science into therapeutics and devices that bring significant benefits to patients

Read the Grant Winner Announcement

  • Beijing Biokey, for developing a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of fibriotic disease
  • Guangdong Jia Genetic Medicine Engineering Research Center, for developing novel therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune disease
  • Hangzhou DAC Biotech, for developing antibody drug conjugates to treat cancer
  • Akeso Biopharma, for developing a pipeline of antibodies targeting cancer, cardiovascular and immune diseases
  • Shanghai Mattel Biotechnology, for developing an innovative long-acting fusion FVIII to treat hemophelia
  • NGM Biopharmaceuticals, for developing biologics for the treatment of cardiometabolic conditions, bile acid-related disease, and potentially other diseases resulting from manifestations of cardiometabolic abnormalities and metabolic related cancers.

Read the Grant Winner Announcement

Our Annual Research Challenges

Our Research Challenge is a competition for technology pioneers at the leading edge of innovation. In this challenge, you’ll be presented with a task and a time limit, and the opportunity to apply your expertise and competitive spirit. Our research grants are designed to stimulate innovative research in challenging areas of future importance.

Learn more


Lack of funding is a reason why promising therapeutics being developed at emerging, start-up biotechs and biopharmaceutical companies may fail to reach commercial status. With the cost to develop a drug estimated to be millions, funding is a challenge for all early-stage drug developers. There are many financing options, from biotech crowdfunding, nondilutive funding, and noncoercive funding, to biotech grants, angel investors, venture capital and other resources. Here are some good places to start in your search for funding.

  • MilliporeSigma offers a wide range of grants and awards for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical research.
  • EMD Serono Partners provides scientists and engineers with best-in-class lab materials, technologies, and services that accelerate access to health for people everywhere.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awards grants primarily to U.S. 501(c)(3) organizations and other tax-exempt organizations.
  • provides a listing of available federal grants


Venture capital (VC) investors look for disruptive technologies that align with their focus areas and a team that can deliver on that vision. When an early-stage, emerging biotech or biopharmaceutical company can clearly define why they are innovative and how they differentiate from others in addressing a relevant issue, the VC will take notice. Leadership that shows both focus and agility increase the likelihood of a successful partnership. Likewise, the entrepreneur should look for VCs that take an active role in translating innovations towards commercial success.

M Ventures, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a subsidiary of MilliporeSigma is a venture fund that joins forces with industry visionaries to maintain science and technology leadership for the next generation


For very early-stage biotech and biopharmaceutical companies, especially those whose founders are new to corporate leadership, an incubator or accelerator facility may be the right solution. These facilities provide not only reasonably priced lab-space and access to a core facility, but a network of support from legal and financial management resources to funding and coaching. These resources can go a long way to help establish a new biotech or biopharmaceutical entity.

Biotech Hub Resources Workflow

Three lab-coated individuals collaborating in a well-organized laboratory, background includes white cabinets, stocked shelves, and informational posters

Biotech Resource Hub

Starting your journey to successful drug discovery, development, and commercialization

A person in blue gloves holding a test tube filled with a clear liquid, another person nearby in a laboratory setting. Background includes various laboratory equipment and bright lighting

Identifying the considerations, resources, and support you need to develop a new biologics candidate

A person in a lab coat working in a well-equipped laboratory. Background includes various laboratory equipment and other individuals

Establishing safety and effectiveness for your Investigational New Drug (IND) application

A person in a lab coat and protective gear handling bottles of chemicals in a well-organized laboratory

Accelerating your process development with tips, templates, and application guides

Three individuals in protective suits working with large stainless steel equipment in a clean, well-lit laboratory environment

Progressing from scale-up and tech transfer to quality production for trials and commercialization

Two individuals engaged in a discussion while working on laptops at a table, background includes an office or co-working space with light blue walls and windows

Navigating one of the world’s most regulated industries starts with a trusted guide

Apply to the North American Advance Biotech Grant by April 30, 2024

Thank you for your interest. To apply to our North American Advance Biotech Grant Program, please fill out and submit the form below. ENTRY IN THIS PROMOTION CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES.

Sponsor, or its affiliates, shall not have any obligation to keep confidential any information received as a part of the Application Form. It is the responsibility of the Participant to submit only such information that it deems public and not confidential. Sponsor, or its affiliates shall not be responsible or liable for any Participants failure to abide by this requirement.

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