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Bugworks Research India to get into biz development mode

Umesh M Avvannavar, Feb 20, 2017: 1:46 IST
Anand Anandkumar
Antibiotic resistance is found all over the world and has become a very serious problem in the treatment of disease.

Imagine this terrible situation; No new antibiotics in three decades, no big pharma company working to solve this problem, heavy abuse of antibiotics all over the world, lack of sanitation in emerging geographies….perfect recipe for disastrous situation where we are losing too many lives to bad bugs (superbugs) and that’s the problem Bengaluru-based startup Bugworks Research India wants to solve.

Looking at the global antibiotic market size of $40 billion which is dominated by generics drugs, Bugworks, one of the few companies in the globe, has been working on a big unmet need by developing new antibiotics to tackle superbugs.

“We are designing next-generation antibiotics that doctors all over the world have been waiting on for decades. These antibiotics will become ‘last-resort’ drugs to save lives in ICU’s that would otherwise be lost to superbugs. Superbugs are bacteria that cause nearly impossible to treat infections and do not respond to existing antibiotics,” Bugworks Research India co-founder and CEO Anand Anandkumar said.

“We are very particular that we want to make this new drug available to India at a very reasonable price point. Indian market is dominated by generics players and not much value can be gotten out of this market for new molecules (compared to say the US market) but we owe it to our country to make this drug affordable/accessible to its citizens,” Anandkumar said.

Three-year-old startup has raised $2.6 million from investors and $500,000 million from grants. It is receiving great support from Karnataka government, DBT-BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (CCAMP)-Bangalore where it got incubated.

“Our unique platform allows us to produce novel new antibiotics, novel new compounds that are able to resurrect existing but failing antibiotics. A device play to prevent the formation of biofilms in hospital devices,” he added.

Bugworks Research India got incorporated in Delware USA and has R&D Centre in Bengaluru. “We also have collaborations setup at St. Johns Hospital and Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospitals in Bengaluru,” he added.

“Business model is to take our molecules to clinical trials Phase I, and then outlicense the IP to a global pharma company who will take it to market. Money come from outlicensing fees and royalties. We will get into business development mode in 2019,” he said.

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