OncoStem Diagnostics raises ₹38.5 crore from Sequoia India and Artiman Ventures

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OncoStem Diagnostics, which develops prognostic and predictive tests to enable personalized treatment planning for Cancer patients, has raised ₹38.5 crore ($6 million) in a new funding round.

The round was led by Sequoia India. The company’s existing investor — Artiman Ventures, has also poured-in money in the current funding round.

The newly raised funds will be used by the company to deepen its Research & Development efforts, develop effective tests for oral, brain and colon cancer and automate these tests.

In the coming future, the company is also looking to expand its presence in India and introduce the test in new markets in Asia as well as Europe. Manjiri Bakre, chief executive officer of the company, said,

We want to expand sales and marketing in Asian countries. We have shortlisted six countries. We also want to set up a lab in Singapore and expand R&D here. We are also working on oral, colon and brain cancer. We want to automate the test end-to-end. The cost of our test is one-fifth as compared to the west.

Commenting on the investment, Anjana Sasidharan, principal, Sequoia Capital, said,

OncoStem is filling a critical need gap and helping spare thousands of cancer patients from severe chemotherapy , the associated toxic effects and the costs. The technology and pricing can fundamentally change patient access to such cutting-edge tests, which have been prohibitively expensive in most markets so far.

Founded by Manjiri Bakre in 2011, OncoStem is focused on personalized cancer treatment planning through the development of tests that effectively predict the chance of cancer recurrence in patients.

The firm has established a central laboratory in Bengaluru, where tumour tissues collected by the distributors in India and neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are tested for different cancer types.

The company has recently launched its lead product ‘CanAssist-Breast’ which can potentially help breast cancer patients avoid unnecessary chemotherapy. In addition, it also plans to launch test for patients suffering from a triple-negative breast cancer.

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