Healthcare-focused OrbiMed invests $30 mn in stem cell firm LifeCell
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LifeCell International Pvt Ltd, an Indian firm that provides stem-cell banking and reproductive genetic testing, on Tuesday said it has raised Rs 225 crore ($30.5 millon) from healthcare-focused private equity firm OrbiMed.

Founders of LifeCell also invested Rs 30 crore in this funding round, said LifeCell in a statement.

VCCircle had reported in October last year that LifeCell was in talks with healthcare funds including OrbiMed for the fundraise.

Mayur Abhaya, managing director of LifeCell, said that the company will use the capital to boost its growth plans and enter adjacent categories like fertility health and cell-based therapeutics.

Chennai-based LifeCell, established in 2004, operates a registry of newborn stem cells. It also runs a network of genetic testing labs catering to more than 3,000 hospitals across 130 cities. 

In 2013, the company raised Rs 35 crore from Helion Venture Partners. Later in 2017, promoters bought the stake from Helion for Rs 72 crore.

The broader stem cell research space hasn't seen too many deals in the recent past.

In 2018, Bengaluru-based oncology chain HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd acquired a 12% stake in International Stemcell Services Ltd in a secondary deal.

In 2016, Transcell Biologics Pvt Ltd, a Hyderabad-based stem cell research firm, raised an undisclosed amount from the Indian Angel Network (IAN).

OrbiMed had raised its fourth Asia private equity fund primarily focused on China and India earlier in March this year.

OrbiMed’s portfolio companies in India include Suraksha Diagnostic, Laxmi Dental Export Pvt Ltd, pharma firm Eurolife Healthcare and hospital chain Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences.

In June 2018, the investment firm exited Surya Children’s Medicare Pvt Ltd after mid-market private equity firm SeaLink Capital Partners came in as a new investor in the mother and child-care company.

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