Debut Biotechnology

Debut Biotechnology

Through the utilization of plug-and-play enzyme cartridges, the company’s cell-free platform has the ability to transform low-value bio-renewable materials into high value therapeutics and specialty chemicals.

Debut Biotechnology, a UC-Irvine spinout that is advancing scalable cell-free biomanufacturing, today announced that it has closed a $2.6M seed round from leading venture capital firms and angel investors. The oversubscribed round was led by KdT Ventures, with participation from Better Ventures, FTW Ventures, and SpringTide Ventures.

“We invested in Debut because the way we produce therapeutics and high value chemicals will dramatically change in the next 10 years as the pharma industry transitions from complex, multi-step ‘batch manufacturing,’ to a far more cost-effective and efficient continuous manufacturing system,” said Cain McClary, Founder and Managing Partner of KdT Ventures. “Debut Bio will be at the forefront of this shift, which we believe represents one of the most promising opportunities in pharma.”

Debut Bio helps the pharmaceutical and specialty chemical industries manufacture high-value molecules by combining custom-designed immobilized enzymes with continuous biomanufacturing processes. Through the utilization of plug-and-play enzyme cartridges, the company’s cell-free platform has the ability to transform low-value bio-renewable materials into high value therapeutics and specialty chemicals.

“At our core, we are rethinking industrial biomanufacturing and aiming to produce high value molecules in better ways. Nature’s enzymes have the ability to create complex natural products, so why reinvent the wheel with chemical synthesis?” said Dr. Joshua Britton, CEO and Founder of Debut Biotechnology. “Enzyme pathways and evolved proteins hold the key.”

Debut Bio’s enzyme cartridges are sequentially arranged in a manner which mimics pathways found in plants and other organisms. Each cartridge is finely-tuned to provide the ideal temperature, pH, concentration, solvent, and reaction time for each individual step to maximize enzymatic productivity and product titer levels. The platform requires far fewer steps than traditional pharma manufacturing and avoids the use of environmentally harmful chemistry. Importantly, it overcomes many challenges typically associated with relying on cells for biomanufacturing.

“Bacteria and yeast have been the workhorses of industrial biomanufacturing for years. Unfortunately, these biofactories have their drawbacks; reaction times can be slow, the product and starting material have difficulty passing through the cell wall, and each cell must be reprogrammed to produce a new molecule,” said Dr. Britton. “Debut Bio envisions an alternative route.”

In Debut Bio’s system, reactants are passed from one enzyme reactor to another to build in-vitro or “cell-free” biosynthetic pathways. The company’s platform uses a sustainable approach by leveraging advanced enzymes outside of the cell to maximize performance and avoid issues with cell-based systems. The platform technology operates under a continuous manufacturing regime that will provide scale, consistency, and ultimately the ability to produce a biomolecule with the click of a button.

Debut Bio has currently partnered with two large manufacturers to integrate its platform into their existing pipelines. The seed funding will be used to support these integrations, expand business development, double the science team, and create a pilot production system.

“We’re humbled to have received both support and validation from world class, science-focused investors,” said Brady Beauchamp, COO and Co-Founder of Debut Biotechnology. “We plan to build on this validation in the coming months with our initial customers in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.”

This funding comes following an announcement last year that the company spun out of UC Irvine with the exclusive license of two inventions developed by Dr. Joshua Britton and Professor Greg Weiss.

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About Debut Biotechnology

Debut Biotechnology is commercializing cell-free biomanufacturing solutions by creating advanced enzyme-based manufacturing processes for high-value molecules. Our platform combines immobilized enzymes with highly controlled and automated continuous manufacturing systems for the pharmaceutical and specialty chemical industries.

Debut Biotechnology was founded by Joshua Britton, Greg Wess, and Brady Beauchamp and is based in sunny San Diego. To learn more, please visit:

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