Updated on 31 October 2012
Mr Ashwin Raguraman, vice president, India Innovation Fund (IIF)
India Innovation Fund (IIF) is a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) registered venture capital fund that invests in innovation led, early stage Indian firms. The key focus areas for IIF includes life sciences apart from information and communication technologies. Since its inception, IIF has made half of its investments in the life sciences domain in companies, including Mitra Biotech (in October 2010), Shantani Proteome (in April 2012) and recently in Consure Medical (during August 2012).
In an interview with BioSpectrum, Mr Ashwin Raguraman, vice president, IIF, speaks about the life sciences industry, opportunities offered by the sector and how IIF will be providing necessary help to start-ups in this space.
Could you kindly elaborate on the recent investments made in Consure Medical and Shantani Proteome?
These two are very promising companies in the healthcare and life sciences spaces. Consure Medical is a firm incubated at AIIMS Delhi and has developed a medical device that addresses fecal incontinence. The device has an edge over existing products in the market as it works with solid stool management and is designed for non-ambulatory patients.
The skills required to operate the device are minimal and it can even be operated by a motivated family member. In a medical facility environment, it leads to significant cost savings for the center. This product is targeted at both the Indian and global markets. Founder of the firm, Mr Nishith Chasmawala, is a Stanford Biodesign fellow and has experience in commercializing devices globally along with the likes of J&J and Kyphon (now acquired by Medtronic).
Shantani is a drug discovery technology company, offering a proprietary chemical proteomics technology platform for the identification of the targets of drugs and drug-like bioactive molecules. This target information is essential for the understanding of action mechanisms of compounds identified through phenotypic screening.