Delhi-based Invictus Oncology Pvt Ltd has raised Rs 10.50 crore (around $1.88 million) in Series A funding led by Navam Capital and Aarin Capital in which an unnamed angel group also participated. The biopharmaceutical startup develops therapeutics for cancer treatment.
The company will deploy the money to push development of platinum chemotherapies used in the treatment of different types of cancer, including lung, testicular, colorectal and childhood cancers.
“Current platinum-based drugs can cause permanent hearing loss in children and kidney toxicity in adults. We are designing next-generation drugs that are more effective and help avoid such adverse side effects. Our goal is to develop new drugs from India that have global impact,” said Shiladitya Sengupta, co-founder of Invictus and assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The company will also accelerate the pre-clinical development of its antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform technology that uses a novel, proprietary CORD-Linker technology.
“Reducing the toxicity of cancer drugs will dramatically improve the quality of life for cancer patients,” said Raghunath Mashelkar, co-founder of Invictus and former director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
“Invictus’s technology has the potential to transform cancer treatment. Moreover, the company is doing something that’s never really been done before by a startup in India. Invictus will challenge assumptions and change perceptions about India’s capacity to deliver product innovation,” said Rajeev Mantri, executive director of Navam Capital.
Navam Capital is a venture capital firm focused on seed and early-stage investments in energy, technology and healthcare. It has also made seed investments in EnNatura Technology Venture and Vyome Biosciences prior to this transaction.
Aarin Capital invests in healthcare, life sciences and technology based products and services business pursuing large market opportunities. Some of the companies Aarin Capital has invested in include Global Stay Services, Insightra Medical Inc, Vyome Biosciences and Ishita Technologies Pvt Ltd.