Bugworks Research has developed a way to beat bacterial drug resistance, which allows for the development of novel antibiotics to counter the threat of superbugs, bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotic drugs.
Bugworks is presently in pre-clinical development stage and expects to begin human trials in two years.Its current portfolio of assets targets hospital-associated infections. The startup's lead chemical series kills a broad spectrum of pathogens via a novel mechanism.
"Team Bugworks is deeply honoured and humbled to receive the coveted Top Innovator award from the Economic Times. The last antibiotic breakthrough happened in 1984; there has been a huge gap in innovation in this space," said Bugworks chief executive Anand Anandkumar. "The novel class of antibiotics that Bugworks is working on has the potential to cure a wide range of hospital-and community acquired infections caused by deadly superbugs."
Pandorum's work is also path-breaking. After becoming the first in the country to design and 3D-print human liver tissues for medical research, the startup is working on bio-engineering human cornea that can potentially be implanted. Its 3D-printed human tissues can be used in medical research for drug metabolism and disease modelling. That makes it a useful tool in the discovery of novel drugs with better efficacy and substantially reduced time and money. Pandorum's big vision is to make personalised human organs such as lungs, liver, kidney and pancreas on demand.
"This award has strengthened our resolve to develop and disseminate high-end innovations for the benefit of the masses. The credit goes to the whole team at Pandorum, our mentors and investors," said cofounder Arun Chandru.
Both Bugworks and Pandorum are funded by the Government of India's Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) under the Biotechnology Ignition Grant. Bugworks is backed also by Baxter Ventures, 3one4 capital and Biocon chairperson Kiran MazumdarShaw, and Pandorum by Flipkart founders Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal, and the government's Small Business Innovation Research Initiative.
"Biotech is really difficult to scale up. I believe companies in this space have a tough time," said Mazumdar-Shaw. On the winners, she said: "One is looking at a very urgent global need, that is, next-generation anti-microbials for superbugs. One is looking at 3D-printing (human tissues). Both the winners are really good."
Both startups were grateful also to the evolving biotech ecosystem in the country . "We are not only indebted to our angel investors and friends for believing in this 'moonshot' of an opportunity , but also to the amazing bio-ecosystem that we have in India," said Anandkumar.
Source : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/et-startup-awards-2017-both-bugworks-research-pandorum-technologies-grab-top-innovator-award/articleshow/59731371.cms