Updated on 31 October 2012
It is also valuable for drug repositioning purposes and for identifying off-target interactions of a drug in order to understand its toxicity profile. Shantani was incubated at National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, and is founded by a scientist named Dr Chaitanya Saxena, who achieved his Phd in the US and has also worked in global corporates such as Eli Lily.
What are your views regarding the life sciences, biotech, healthcare and pharma sectors in terms of investments?
All these domains look promising for investments as there is a surge in the number of high quality start-ups in these spaces. There are a flurry of start-ups emerging in drug discovery, platforms and the medical device sectors, which are founded by world-class entrepreneurs. The risks of investing in these sectors, however, are high and more importantly, these sectors call for patient investing.
There are challenges for start-ups in these sectors as well. The Indian market is still few years away from maturity. The much touted reverse innovation paradigm is constrained, by lack of an easily addressable domestic market. Further, the regulatory environment is nascent, and while that may be a short-term benefit, in the long run it will hurt companies that are looking to expand globally.
There is, however, a lot of interest that appears to be building within the global investor community in the Indian healthcare and life sciences sectors. Also, there is going to be a significant amount of capital that will follow companies, which are able to manage and solve the challenges listed above and develop a unique proposition applicable in a global context.
How active has IIF been when it comes to investments in the healthcare, life sciences, biotech and pharma sectors?
Three of our six investments so far are in the sectors mentioned above. We are constantly evaluating entrepreneurs in these sectors. The support of the IKP Knowledge Park, and the involvement of experts such as Dr Bala Manaian, board member, Biocon, and Mr Shreekumar Suryanarayan, former head, R&D, Biocon, has enhanced our ability to evaluate offerings in these domains.