Ykrita Life Sciences (YLS) has raised a sum of $1.2 million (around Rs 9 crore) in the seed funding round led by Venture Catalysts, the company said in a statement. Indian Scientific Innovation Company Limited also participated in this round.
Founded in 2020, Bengaluru-based Ykrita Life Sciences is a team of inter-disciplinary scientists and clinicians working together to develop a remedy for acute liver failure, the statement said. This project is incubated out of Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and was initially funded by Innovationqore and Venture Catalyst with a commitment of up to Rs 4.5 crore. The project was initiated by liver transplant surgeon Dr. Mahesh Gopasetty and Jagadeesh Gopalan Head of Aerospace Engineering Division of IISc.
Ykrita is developing a device called Bio-Engineered Artificial Ectopic Liver (BAEL), to help clinicians treat patients without the need for an organ transplant and hospitalisation.
According to the statement, BAEL has passed the in-Vitro phase of development, and is currently in the in-Vivo phase of development. In this stage, the device will have to pass animal-testing and clinical trials.
YLS reserves the right to pick any of the multiple options of monetising its IP, including licensing, contract manufacturing, and in-house manufacturing, the statement said.
"Being an innovative concept that has been indigenously developed, it is important that this project gets all the necessary support in terms of funding to ensure it delivers the product that will ultimately help millions of patients in the country who do not have access to treatment when they suffer from acute liver failure conditions,” said Gopasetty.
“We are always on the lookout for biotech innovators who combine advanced technology with the latest developments in the medical science to solve pressing pain points plaguing the healthcare landscape. The inaccessibility of treatment of acute liver failure for a big chunk of the population is one such need-gap that needed addressing," said Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Founder and President at Venture Catalysts.
Founded in 2016, Venture Catalysts claims to be Asia’s largest integrated incubator. It offers funding, mentorship, and network and invests $250K – $1.5 million (around Rs 1.87 crore- Rs 11 crore) in early-stage startups with incubation support for one year. They have successfully incubated start-ups like Fynd, Beardo, PeeSafe, Innov8, vPhrase, Supr, DSYH, among others.
It has more than 3000 angel investors and is spread across 11 cities in 3 countries including India, Hong Kong and Qatar. Marquee investors such as YCombinator, Greenoaks, Axis Capital, Alpha Capital, Rocketship, FJ Labs have co-invested with Venture Catalysts.
Venture Catalysts has applied to the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) to invest in the same ecosystem in the last two months.
Other venture capital-funded medical devices firms which have recently raised capital include breast cancer screening startup Niramai Health Analytix. Consure, which is focused on developing and commercializing novel critical care technologies, raised Rs 3.61 crore last year from Accel Partners and Jayesh Arvind Parekh.