Vyome Biosciences Pvt Ltd, which is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing dermatology products, has closed a Series B financing round worth $8 million (Rs 48 crore) led by Sabre Partners, with participation of existing investors Kalaari Capital and Aarin Capital.

Delhi-based Vyome is focused on the development of therapeutics for hard to treat and refractory dermatology diseases. It has completed clinical research on two products and two lead compounds are in preclinical stage of USFDA program.

Vyome is pioneering the development of a pipeline of molecules, including those for killing dandruff-causing fungus, new antibiotics that kills resistant acne-causing bacteria and has developed a robust global patent portfolio. It recently completed clinical studies on VB001 and VB2421 for mild to moderate dandruff.

The company was set up in August 2010 by Shiladitya Sengupta of Harvard Medical School, Rajesh Gokhale of Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and Rajeev Mantri, an executive director at early-stage investor Navam Capital. Mantri is also the president of Vyome. Last year it brought on board N Venkat as promoter, co-founder and CEO of the company. Venkat is a former CEO of Emami and has also served as president of Shantha Biotechnics.

“This financing is a major landmark in Vyome’s journey to translate cutting edge science into differentiated products and innovative commercialisation strategies, and gives the company substantial firepower to drive the completion of critical milestones of USFDA filings and Phase 1 & Phase 2 clinical research for some of its lead compounds and other development and commercialisation efforts of its Rx and OTC pipeline,” Venkat said.

In November 2010, Vyome raised $1 million from Navam Capital. It later raised $3.35 million from Kalaari Capital, Navam Capital and Aarin Capital in 2012 in its Series A round.

Renowned scientist Raghunath Mashelkar, who serves as the chairman of Vyome, said, “Dermatology is one area that has not seen much innovation for over five decades but with the recent advances in science, significantly more effective solutions become possible. This financing is another important milestone in Vyome’s pioneering effort to deliver innovative solutions in dermatology.”

For Sabre Partners, which runs an infrastructure-focused private equity fund and a healthcare-focused fund, this is the fourth deal in Indian healthcare sector and the first in the product side. In the past it has backed two hospital chains, one of which it has already exited. It has also invested in diagnostics firm SRL, now a subsidiary of Fortis Healthcare.

Its healthcare investments are routed through a sector-focused fund Spring Healthcare.

Speaking on the transaction, Rajiv Maliwal, founder and managing partner, Sabre Partners, said Vyome’s critical understanding of unmet needs to develop unique platform technologies and products for the $20 billion global dermatology market is something which attracted the PE firm.

Sabre Partners has invested over $300 million in India and one of its best known investments was in Centurion Bank, which was subsequently acquired by HDFC Bank.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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