In India, genomics is now the new normal. This was largely possible due to the increasing participation of various Indian startups. One such venture that has claimed the title of having South Asia’s largest genomics database is MedGenome.
The venture was started by Sam Santhosh who surprisingly had no previous experience in this field. Santhosh was previously a part of the USA’s software industry. Around 2008, he noticed the rage of genome sequencing catching up. This pushed him to start Science of the Genome in Cochin in 2011. Two years later he felt the time was right to bring MedGenome into the picture.
MedGenome offered doctor-prescribed genetic diagnostic tests for patients. Tests for cancer, neurological disorders, eye diseases, prenatal disorders and metabolic diseases were all possible with MedGenome. They went a step ahead and launched KardioGen which can help detect the risk a person has of cardiac arrests. They also co-founded GenomeAsia 100K to promote research work and partnership in this field.
They raised $4 million in their Series A round by Papillon Capital. The next year they raised $20 million from Sequoia Capital India. Sequoia Capital again invested $20 million with Sofina. In 2018, HDFC ERGO invested $10 million. LeapFrog Investments raised $55 million in their Series D round in 2020.
This year, the International Finance Corporation or IFC (member of the World Bank Group) invested ₹123 crores in MedGenome to make their COVID-19 diagnostics available to a wider population. IFC’s Global Health Platform has kept aside $4 billion to help deliver vaccines and medicines during the pandemic. MedGenome is the beneficiary of this project.
It is with the contribution of startups like MedGenome that the Indian genetics diagnostics market is growing at a CAGR of 42% in the next 5 years. Globally, the sector will go from $13 billion in 2019 to $28.5 billion in 2026. Making genomics mainstream not only global but also local.