OncoStem Diagnostics, a Bangalore-based health start-up on Wednesday said it has raised USD 6 million in a funding round led by Sequoia India.
It will use the fund to deepen its research and development efforts, develop effective tests for oral, brain and colon cancer and automate these tests. The company plans to expand its presence in India and introduce the test in new markets in Asia as well as Europe.
OncoStem is focused on personalised cancer treatment planning through the development tests that try to predict the chances of recurrence in patients.
"Cancer treatment has been continuously evolving with new research and oncologists have realised that a one-size-fits-all approach to cancer patients is not conducive. However, there are no affordable tests in India to accurately predict the risk of cancer recurrence. We aim to develop innovative and cost-effective tests that will help predict and assess the risk of recurrence in cancer patients, thus providing doctors with an actionable blueprint for personalised treatments," said Manjiri Bakre, founder and chief executive officer, OncoStem Diagnostics.
OncoStem’s flagship product CanAssist-Breast is a test which can predict the risk of cancer recurrence from Stage 1 to Stage 3A. Currently, it is available in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
In addition to CanAssist-Breast, OncoStem also plans to launch another test for patients suffering from Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). While tumours of this category are generally aggressive in nature, not all patients have a high risk of recurrence and may not require severe and multiple rounds of chemotherapy to combat it."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 globally so far. Also, the biomarkers discovered through OncoStem’s predictive analysis of cancer recurrence will help pharma companies in developing new targeted drugs," said Anjana Sasidharan, principal, Sequoia Capital India Advisors.