The Indian as well as global startup ecosystem that is mostly dominated by startups driven by popular technologies, it is very rare to see a biopharma startup hogging a limelight. But on Monday Bugworks Research managed to achieve this rare thing after it raised $9 million (about Rs 62.2 crore) in series A funding round.
The round was led by University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC), while other investors including cquipharma Holdings, 3one4 Capital also participated in the round.
So what does Bugworks really do?
The Bengaluru headquartered Bugworks, which also has head office in Delaware, is on a mission to combat Superbugs – termed usually as Gram Negative Bacteria & Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The startup has put in place a top class team with expertise in Biochemistry, Microbiology Molecular Biology & other areas to formulate safe and robust antibiotics to target Gram-negative bacteria.
To simplify Bugworks’ mission in lay man’s terms then it is trying to combat infections that are acquired in hospitals. Several studies have proven that hospital-acquired infections are mostly developed due to superbugs. According to recent study, superbugs every year cost lives of nearly 20,000 people in the U.S.
Some experts call superbugs a special term used to describe strains of bacteria that cannot be combated by majority of antibiotics that are popularly used today.
Meanwhile, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is currently not going through a very rosy period. This is mostly thanks to tough stand taken by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA over the last two years has issued several warning letters to plants operated by some of the top Indian pharmaceutical companies.
FDA’s warning has forced Indian companies to withdraw some of its top selling antibiotics from the U.S. market, which is the world’s largest pharmaceutical and antibiotics markets. This has clearly resulted in erosion of profit and revenue of some of the big players including Sun Pharma, Cipla and Dr Reddy’s.