Is Synthetic Biology Reaching A Tipping Point?

A close up of cells representing synthetic biology.
Insight by and

The TD Cowen Insight

We believe Synthetic Biology (“SynBio”) is at a tipping point, with the industry poised to unlock markets across many verticals. The commercial SynBio product landscape is robust and scaling, which our report highlights. Our proprietary analysis of the “pulse” of the broad SynBio space, including funding, onsite diligence, and visits (both public and private companies also drives our belief that we are at a tipping point.

Factors Leading Synthetic Biology to a Tipping Point

Synthetic biology is at a tipping point akin to the early days of the internet and mobile computing. Commercial successes are also poised to accelerate, driven by better tools, lower R&D costs with higher R&D productivity powering AI and data-driven approaches. Declining costs as products scale will also drive adoption.

Challenging the Bear Thesis for Synthetic Biology

A common bear thesis is the belief that products are still years away and SynBio can’t achieve scale. Our report challenges this view. We provide a premier framework for where we are today, the current SynBio product landscape, impact of macro trends, finding environment, portfolio suggestions, and what/who to watch in both public and private spaces.

Takeaways From Our Synthetic Biology Roundup Series and the SynBioBeta Conference

This report highlights our SynBio Roundup series, a monthly report we have been publishing that tracks synthetic biology financings, M&A activity, validating partnerships, industry activities & topical news. These proprietary reports give us a differentiated and in-depth overview of the industry since the beginning of 2022.

Our report also showcases insights on SynBio reaching scale, the commercial landscape, and evolving regulatory environment, derived from numerous site visits and standalone attendance at the annual SynBioBeta conference.

Key Catalysts to Watch

We see some products disrupting or displacing incumbent products manufactured via petroleum-dependent or other unsustainable processes. Meanwhile we see others unlocking new markets via having highly differentiated performance and/or superior functions. We foresee many TAMs being unlocked, with declining costs as manufacturing scales, driving the elasticity of demand.

We expect a continued rebound in the funding environment, led primarily by large private rounds. SynBio products should continue to achieve scale, which should help unlock the $HSD trillion market today.

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