Mitra Biotech raises $27.4 million
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Mumbai: Mitra Biotech Inc., a biotech company that develops and provides technologies that personalize cancer treatment, has raised $27.4 million (approximately Rs.184 crore) in a Series B round of financing led by Sequoia India and Sands Capital Ventures.
Mitra Biotech is engaged in supporting personalized oncology therapy selection and drug development. Founded in 2010, Mitra is based in Boston, and maintains a significant research and laboratory presence in Bengaluru.
Other investors such as RA Capital Management and the company’s existing investors Accel Partners and Tata Capital Innovations Fund also participated in the round. Sequoia and Sands Capital will get board seats.
The latest round provides an exit to Series A investors KITVEN and India Innovation Fund.
In October 2013, Tata Capital Innovations Fund along with existing investors India Innovation Fund and Accel Partners, invested about Rs.40 crore in the company. In 2010, the company had raised funding of Rs.30 crore from Accel, India Innovation Fund and KITVEN, a government-backed fund.
Mitra will use the funds to expand the availability of its CANScript service, which predicts personalized responses to cancer treatments and has demonstrated an extremely high correlation to actual clinical response, the company said.
CANScript is used both to tailor therapies for patients and to speed drug development.
“These new funds will allow us to enhance our technology and engage in new studies to further demonstrate CANScript’s clinical utility. We will also move forward with our commercial efforts in the United States, as well as emerging and other key markets,” said Mallikarjun Sundaram, president, co-founder, and chief executive of Mitra.
CANScript has the potential to dramatically speed oncology drug discovery and development by matching compounds to their indications of highest impact, said Ian Ratcliffe of Sands Capital.
CANScript replicates a patient’s personal tumour microenvironment, including the immune network. Selected drug therapies are then applied to the tumour and multiple response parameters are measured. These tumour responses are then synthesized by CANScript’s advanced algorithm into a single score that predicts efficacy.