Startups can be seen in every sector of the globe from education, agriculture and every other field existing. But the start-ups in the medical field are making a lot of difference as they are reaching to the masses of people in need for medical attention. Previously we had written on startups who have taken diagnostics to next level and today it is OncofStem, a Cancer diagnostics startup which is the need of the hour at the moment.
Oncostem is focused on personalized cancer treatment planning through the development of tests that predict the chance of reoccurrence in patients.
As per the WHO, cancer is the leading cause of the death worldwide with 7.6 Mn death in the year 2008. It is expected to reach 13.1 Mn in 2030. Right now, in India, it is the major cause of mortality.
Established in 2011 in Bengaluru, the lead product ‘CanAssist-Breast’ claims to help around 50% of patients to avoid the severe side-effects of unnecessary chemotherapy.
OncoStem’s flagship product ‘CanAssist-Breast’, is a robust and cost-effective ‘Morphometric ImmunoHistoChemistry’ (mIHC) test. The product can predict the risk of recurrence for HR+ breast cancer patients from Stage 1 up to Stage 3A. Right now, it is available in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
In addition to CanAssist-Breast, OncoStem will soon be launching another test for patients suffering from Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). The tumors of this category are generally aggressive in nature, not all patients have a high risk of recurrence and may not require severe and multiple rounds of chemotherapy to combat it. As of now, there aren’t any concrete tests to determine the severity of TNBC. OncoStem claims that its new test, which will be introduced by the end of 2018, will assess the severity of cancer and help in planning the appropriate treatment procedure for the patient.
To avail this, the user has to update their details and request the test report, after making the payment on the website itself.
OncoStem Diagnostics has raised $ 6 Mn in a funding round led by Sequoia India. OncoStem has plans to invest the newly raised funds to deepen its R&D efforts, develop effective tests for oral, brain and colon cancer and automate these tests. Along with this, the company will focus on the expansion of the market in India and get a foothold in Asia as well as Europe.
The motto behind the Startup is to be lauded. It is filling the large gap that existed between the cancer patients and the therapies they had to go through. OncoStem helps them to derive whether they really need to take the treatment and thereby reducing the financial as well as the toxic burden on the patients. The aim is to make it accessible to everyone in need through cutting edge technology and pricing. These tests also help to determine and manufacture new drugs required by Pharma Companies.
The other Startups in Oncology and Cancer diagnostics space are Invictus Oncology backed by Ratan Tata and Celon Labs, iGenetics Diagnostics etc. With the funding, OncoStem is looking forward to launching a new product and for opening market in South East Asia.
With cutting edge technology for early diagnosis and affordable prices what needs to be seen is how far these Startups will be able to change the medical treatment for cancer bearable both economically and also physically to the needy.