Updated on 15 March 2013
Mr Sahil Kapoor, one of the founders of Novo Informatics, India (winner of the BioSpectrum Asia Pacific Awards 2013 in the Emerging Company of the Year 2013 category)
Novo Informatics is the brainchild of a group of students and researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, a premier academic institution in India. Mr Sahil Kapoor, Mr Avinash Kumar, Mr Shashank Shekhar and Professor B Jayaram pooled in funds to establish the company drawing on the in-house technologies of IIT-Delhi to discover lead drug molecules against targets.
With its platform technology built on proprietary technologies of Super Computing Facility for Computational Biology & Bioinformatics (SCFbio) Lab at IIT-D, the research-driven company established in April 2011 now contributes to faster and more efficient drug development.
"We have been working on developing innovative models that speed up the process of discovering lead molecules," says Mr Kapoor, director, co-founder and head of global business operations at Novo Informatics. "We have been providing consultancy to various global companies and academies using our technologies. Also, we are working on creating a compound library that is fast becoming our asset in the wake of incorporation of newer compounds. We believe in discovering a lead soon on our in-house R&D projects."
The first break came in the form of a consultancy to a UK-based company in 2011 for $20,000. Since then, Novo Informatics has been providing consultancy to companies and research institutions in India and abroad. Mr Kapoor says this has helped them sustain in the global market. The company has managed to bag some small projects in India and is in talks with Australia's University of Griffith for a project.
The 10-member team of the company includes promoters, full-time employees and contract employees. "It has been an excellent learning curve. What is satisfying is that we need to constantly evolve to keep up with the technology and the market and thus one has to confront several challenges," says Mr Kapoor, adding that financial contstraint was a challenge at one point. "In time, we understood changing trends in the market and client requirements. We have now taken everything into consideration and are strongly prepared to drive innovation in the coming years."