The Solt DB Biotech Company Database tracks historical company formation trends across the global bioeconomy. The database is organized across six major biotech sectors, 31 focus areas, and nearly 150 unique tags. This structure helps to capture the diversity of the bioeconomy, as well as trends within and across sectors.
There's a tendency to use the words "biotech" and "biopharmaceuticals" interchangeably, but biotech is an industry-agnostic term. Biotech is simply using biology as technology. It doesn't automatically imply healthcare.
More confusing, the word "biotech" is often used to describe any emerging drug developer, including those only working on small molecule drug candidates. These companies are technically pharmaceutical companies, not biopharmaceutical companies. The Solt DB Biotech Company Database only tracks drug developers that are biopharma companies, which means they must have at least one biologic drug candidate or product.
(Solt DB Invest, our investment research subscription, is guilty of making sloppy references to "biotech stocks."
It's purely for SEO purposes and standing out in a noisy internet.)
The Solt DB Biotech Company Database is structured with a three-layer taxonomy:
The field of agricultural biotech improves the production of crops, livestock, and aquaculture. An agricultural biotech company may engineer plants with genetic traits for improved drought tolerance or nutrition profiles, microbiome products to improve animal feed digestion in cattle, or insects that protect row crops from invasive pests.
The field of biopharmaceuticals develops biologic drugs spanning monoclonal antibodies, cell therapy, gene editing, and more. Biologic drug candidates are typically required to use a unique regulatory pathway called a biologics license application (BLA) in the United States, which is more stringent than that for small molecule drug candidates.
The bioeconomy isn't solely dedicated to traditional commercial applications. Companies, DIYbio labs, and artists are also actively developing living technology for educational and artistic purposes.
The field of environmental biotech develops solutions for a broad range of applications spanning biosecurity, conservation, forestry, and mining. An environmental biotech company may develop biologic solutions for remediating former industrial sites, embark on the genetic rescue of endangered or extinct species, or use microbes to recover metals from low-grade ore for electric vehicle batteries.
The field of industrial biotech primarily uses commercial-scale fermentation to produce chemicals, materials, and metals. An industrial biotech company may develop microbial, mammalian, or plant cell cultures. End products may include animal-free proteins, commodity chemicals, renewable fuels, metals, wood, and more.
The bioeconomy requires a diverse mix of specialized tools to develop living technology. Research inputs may include contract research organizations (CRO), benchtop DNA synthesizers, assays for screening antibodies, software for designing proteins, and more.
Primarily in Industrial Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing food for aquaculture and livestock.
Primarily in Biopharma and Industrial Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing microbiome products, probiotics, vaccines, and other products encouraging the health of aquaculture, livestock, and pets.
Primarily in Agricultural Biotech and Environmental Biotech, these companies have a specific focus engineering animals for beneficial metabolic or food traits.
Primarily in Biopharma, these companies have a specific focus developing medical devices with a living technology component, such as requiring living cells and not only silicon.
Primarily in Environmental Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing biosensors or diagnostics for measuring environmental or health outputs. Applications include food safety to measuring industrial effluents and seasonal infections.
Primarily in Industrial Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing chemical products. This is an intentionally broad term, but generally includes all commodity chemicals, fuels, and intermediary chemicals.
Primarily in Research Inputs, these companies have a specific focus providing remote lab space. Cloud labs enable researchers anywhere to conduct experiments on dedicated wetware and hardware in a centralized location.
Primarily in Industrial Biotech and Research Inputs, these companies have a specific focus providing contract manufacturing and/or development services for fermentation or biopharma applications.
Primarily in Environmental Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing products and services for preserving and growing genetic populations of organisms in the wild.
Primarily in Agricultural Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing plants for individuals and households.
Primarily in Education & Art, these companies have a specific focus providing information and wetware for learning about living technology.
Primarily in Research Inputs, these companies have a specific focus providing contract research organization (CRO) services for companies across biotech sectors. The general focus is on discovery and early-stage research.
Primarily in Agricultural Biotech and Industrial Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing biological and chemical inputs to help plants grow more efficiently.
Primarily in Agricultural Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing genetic engineering of plants for agricultural and consumer applications.
Primarily in Biopharma and Research Inputs, these companies have a specific focus providing regulated tests for interpreting biomarker signals in animal and human health applications.
Primarily in Biopharma, these companies have a specific focus developing therapeutic modalities for human health applications.
Primarily in Industrial Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing enzymes from genetically engineered microbes for a specific application. Enzyme applications (denoted by Tags) can span animal feed production, chemical manufacturing, diagnostics, human food production, research kits, and more.
Primarily in Environmental Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing products and services for growing forest trees with modern biological inputs.
Primarily in Industrial Biotech, these companies have a specific focus manufacturing renewable fuels using microbial or cellular hosts.
Primarily in Research Inputs, these companies have a specific focus providing benchtop hardware and sensors for conducting research across biotech sectors.
Primarily in Industrial Biotech, these companies have a specific focus manufacturing ingredients and products for human consumption from cellular hosts, which can be microbial, mammalian, or plant. Food ingredients can range from flavors and fragrances to protein ingredients.
Primarily in Industrial Biotech, these companies have a specific focus manufacturing ingredients and materials for various applications. Applications can range from fashion to building materials to energy storage components and more.
Primarily in Education & Art, these companies have a specific focus providing information to as many individuals as possible.
Primarily in Industrial Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing various inputs required for biomanufacturing or biopharma manufacturing. Applications include novel bioreactor designs and growth factors intended for industrial-scale production.
Primarily in Research Inputs, these companies have a specific focus providing various inputs required for biotech research. Applications include assays and kits, cell lines, and other products or services that don't fit neatly into existing categories.
Primarily in Agricultural Biotech and Research Inputs, these companies have a specific focus providing the chambers enabling plant growth. Applications include consumer products, farming in space or zero gravity, and vertical farms.
Primarily in Environmental Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing products and services enabling the remediation of natural environments. Applications include reforming industrial sites, waste sites, and more.
Primarily in Environmental Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing products and services enabling the removal of metals or minerals from the environment. For example, using microbes to process low-grade ore.
Primarily in Research Inputs, these companies have a specific focus providing software tools enabling biotech research or manufacturing. Many modern tools require software, so this Sector Focus is intended for platforms that specifically provide software.
Primarily in Industrial Biotech, these companies have a specific focus providing chemicals for high-value applications from microbial or plant hosts. Applications include cosmetics, flavors and fragrances, pharma inputs, and so on.
The Biotech Company Database uses Tags to capture the most granular aspects of a company. However, the global bioeconomy is massive! We currently use nearly 150 Tags and will certainly expand over time. This searchable table helps to condense the full list and definitions.
If you're a power user and want a .csv file of Tags for easier viewing, then click the "Get the data" link at the bottom of the table.
Solt DB will create, delete, change, and expand Tags in future refinements with feedback from the community. Use the Community Edits form to suggest a change.
The year founded field is when a company was legally formed. Keep in mind companies can be founded decades before launching biotech products or business segments.
The current operating status field describes if a company was acquired, is active or inactive, or has an unknown status.
A good rebranding can go a long way. The former name field is the previous corporate name(s), if any, for a business. Bolt Threads used to be Refactored Materials, Solt DB used to be BioMap, and Telesis Bio changes its name every few years to keep us on our toes.
The home country field is where a company is headquartered. Many international companies have laboratories in the United States to access talent and ecosystems, but California can't have everything.
The genesis field describes the origin of a company. Was it a good old-fashioned startup in a garage? Did it spawn from an iGEM team? Perhaps it was a corporate spinout.
The incubator or accelerator field captures participation in structured programs for startups and entrepreneurs.
The equity type field describes whether a business is private, publicly traded, or state owned.
If a company is (or was) publicly traded, then the stock symbol field describes the stock exchange and ticker symbol.
If a company has active operations, then Solt DB provides external links to the company's website (home page) and careers page. Most active companies have at least a basic website, but not all companies have a dedicated careers website.
Due to security concerns, Solt DB doesn't provide external links to current or former websites for companies with inactive operations.
A few helpful tips and tricks for getting the most out of the Solt DB Biotech Company Database.
Look, you and I both know how this is going to go. You'll try to explain an awesome filter you created to a friend or colleague who we still aren't sure how they tie their own shoes in the morning. Maybe my former boss, maybe your current boss. It doesn't matter. They won't get it. It's okay. The query to URL feature is the Velcro shoes of biotech database filters.
Let's say you want to find all privately-held biopharma companies developing drugs in the field of gene editing. You would create the following filter:
Each filter layer is automatically added to the page URL (or removed if you change criteria), which can then be copied and shared seamlessly. The example above becomes:
The query to URL feature is also applied to sections within this User Guide. This section is:
Any field in the Biotech Company DB can be filtered using the search bar, even if the field isn't displayed in the table.
The search bar for the Biotech Company DB filters keywords in real time, even with partial string matches.
The slider allows users to search the Biotech Company DB for companies founded between two years. The default Year Founded is 1859 and is used when information is missing or cannot be verified.
To find companies founded in a single year, users can use the search bar.
The Biotech Company DB currently organizes entries with four primary Operating Status inputs: "Acquired," "Active," "Inactive," and "Unknown."
However, an acquired company can be "Active" or "Inactive."
For example, Labcyte was acquired by Beckman Coulter, but still operates as a separate brand. Zymergen was acquired by Ginkgo Bioworks, but has been absorbed with no individual identity.
We've simplified the Operating Status in the table, but offer more granular details for acquired companies on each landing page.
Solt DB keeps a running list of features in development across the platform, including the databases. You can submit additional suggestions or feature requests.
A few developments under consideration for the Solt DB Biotech Company Database: