Karmic Lifesciences, a contract research organisation, has secured its second round of undisclosed investment from Basil Global Corporation, a Mauritius based venture capital firm focused on the Indian IT and healthcare space.

This round of funding follows the first round of $0.5 million funding into the company by Indian Angel Network, an angel fund in April 2009. The investments in the company have been made for a minority stake. The company plans to use the proceeds towards expanding sales in the US and European markets and setting up a world-class clinical trial and data management delivery centre in an SEZ unit in Mumbai.

The company has already hired a few senior professionals including Dr Shreekant Sapatnekar, ex Director of Haffkine Institute and Dr M V Nagendran, MD (cardiology) with 18 years of clinical trial experience.

Nidhi Saxena, Founder & CEO of Karmic Lifesciences said, in a company statement, “The Basil investment comes at the right time and should give us wings to fly. It re-iterates the huge potential of the Indian lifesciences industry and puts us in good stead as we prepare for aggressive growth and global traction. Also, the first-hand entrepreneurial experience and professional calibre of the Basil Team including Rajeev and Sanjiv will be a valuable source of learning for us.”

Sanjiv Maheshwari , member of the Investment Committee at Basil Partners, who now sits on Karmic’s board, said, “We are excited about our investment in Karmic and have chosen it as one of our portfolio companies based on traits we normally look for – a sound and high quality management team, a niche focus in the emerging, high growth lifesciences industry and a profitable business model. We are confident about the scalability of the venture and our own ability to add value to it.”  Rajeev Srivastava is also member of the investment committee at Basil Partners.

Karmic Lifesciences is a one of the certified and full-service contract research organizations based out of Mumbai. Karmic provides end-to-end ICH-GCP compliant   clinical services including clinical trial management, clinical data management, medical writing, biostatistics and regulatory submissions/approvals and has experience of handling 50+ Phase II-IV clinical studies in multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, neurology, cardiovascular, metabolic disorders and immunology.

Clinical trials constitute a key part of the drug discovery to commercial launch value chain. In fact, clinical trials that are conducted in four phases in animals and humans accounts for nearly 60-70% of the total cost of launching a drug, which could be anywhere between $800 million to $1.5 billion. KPMG has, in its recent report on India Pharma Inc, said, “recognising the value proposition India can offer in clinical research, foreign companies have, in recent years, laid great emphasis on making it an integral part of their drug development value chain. This is evident in the increased number of multinational CROs setting up in India and fast growing number of local CROs.”

In 2007, Kotak Private Equity Group (KPEG), the PE arm of Kotak Mahindra Bank, bought 70% stake in Mumbai-based SIRO Clinpharm Private Limited (SIRO), together with 3i. In 2007, Actis invested in Veeda Clincial Research Ltd.

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