Mitra Biotech raises $27.4 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia India


BENGALURU: Mitra Biotech, a company that develops and provides novel technologies that personalize cancer treatment, has raised $27.4 million (approximately Rs 183 crore) in a Series B funding co-led by Sequoia India and Washington based Sands Capital Ventures and with participation from Boston based RA Capital Management and existing investors Accel Partners and Tata Capital Innovations Fund.

This round provides an exit to Series A investors Karnataka Information Technology Venture Capital Fund (KITVEN) and India Innovation Fund. Mitra will use the funds to expand the availability of its CANScript service, which predicts personalized responses to cancer treatments.

“These new funds will allow us to enhance our technology and engage in new studies to further demonstrate CANScript’s clinical utility. We will also move forward with our commercial efforts in the United States, India, and other key markets,” said Mallikarjun Sundaram, chief executive of Mitra.

Before founding Mitra, Sundaram, who did his Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) from IIT-BHU, was a scientific co-founder of listed pharmaceutical products company Momenta Pharmaceuticals. He helped develop some of Momenta’s key drugs. Sundaram also holds a Ph.D. in Biotechnology from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and MBA from the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania. Mitra Biotech is also a winner of the ‘Top Innovator’ category in the ET Startup Awards 2016.

Sundaram and his co-founder Pradip K Majumder, decided to have their main R&D facility in Bengaluru, so as to gather crucial clinical data.

“We were very clear that a successful model can be possible only with a high clinical co-relation. We came here (Bengaluru) due to a larger presence of hospitals,” said Sundaram.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, managing director of biotechnology firm Biocon, put them in touch with Narayana Health City in Bengaluru, where they are currently working out from. Mitra Biotech also has its sales office in Massachusetts.