Indian startups focusing on the drug discovery business
January 19, 2015: In a situation where even the world's most powerful antibiotics available in the market are becoming ineffective against infections globally, Indian startups are entering the drug discovery business to tap the growth opportunities in this segment.
According a recently released report concerning India, close to 58,000 infants, out of 8,00,000 infants who die annually, due due to multi-drug resistance. Significantly, the Obama administration has come up with a national strategy around three months back to deal with the growing threat of antibiotic resistance that includes incentives for new drug discovery and development.
Companies across the world have moved from R&D to new drug discovery in the field and India is also following the global trend with Indian startups aiming to make an impact in this segment. Companies like Bugworks, a Bengaluru-based startup and Vitas Pharma, based out of Hyderabad are two of the prominent companies coming up from India. Vitas Pharma has recently got a funding of Rs 3 crore from the Indian Angel Network.
Vitas Pharma started its journey in 2011 as a drug discovery and development company. The company is involved in identifying and developing next gen antibiotics to treat multi-drug resistant hospital acquired infections. The founders invested close to US$ 1 million out of their own funds and the recent funding from IAN is expected to be used for completing the safety, pharmacology and toxicology package and filling an investigational new drug and clinical trials for one programme. The next round of funding will be initiated in 12 months to raise close to Rs 20 crore.
Experts believe that more Indian startups will enter the business of drug discovery in the coming years as it offers huge growth opportunities and has the potential to define the future of global healthcare.