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Biotech startup Zumutor Biologics raises $4 mn from Bharat Innovation Fund, Accel

Biotech startup Zumutor Biologics raises $4 mn from Bharat Innovation Fund, Accel
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Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Zumutor Biologics, a company that is developing immunotherapies to fight cancer, has raised $4 million led by venture capital firm Bharat Innovation Fund. Existing investor Accel participated in the round. 

The latest infusion takes the total capital raised by the company, which has research and development operations in Bengaluru, to $20 million, it said in a statement. 

Dubbing the latest infusion a Series A2 round, founder and CEO Kavitha Iyer Rodrigues, said in a statement, “Our first-in-class lead molecule, ZM 008 has made industry-validated progress and is poised for an IND filing with phase 1a/1b clinical trials likely to commence end 2020. The Series A 2 funding will enable pivotal milestones in development stages.”

Zumutor was born as Theramyt Novobilogics in July 2013 in Bengaluru. Iyer, a serial entrepreneur who earlier founded biotech firm Inbiopro Solutions (acquired by Stride Arcolabs), founded Theramyt with Sohang Chatterjee (left the firm in 2016) to develop biosimilars for the treatment of cancer. 

Shortly after being founded, the company raised $6 million in an outsized seed round from venture capital firms Accel, Aarin Capital, IDG Ventures India (now known as Chiratae Ventures) and KITVEN. Theramyt became Zumutor Biologics in 2015 and relocated its headquarters to the US. It also raised a $6 million Series A round from its existing investors around the same time. In April 2018, it raised another $4 million from Accel for pre-clinical trials, according to information on its website.

The $4 million Series A2 round being announced today was raised in September this year, according to the company’s website.

Zumutor Biologics develops and commercialises NK-cell therapeutics for the treatment of prostate cancer. It has two proprietary antibody engineering platforms to develop immunotherapies that target innate immunity and regulate the tumor microenvironment. Its growth strategy is focused on natural killer (NK) cell-activating targets, Rodrigues said.

 "We are excited to back a world-class scientific team, a second-time entrepreneur and a company developing immuno-therapeutic products using their proprietary platforms. The strong pipeline that Zumutor has developed combined with a relatively differentiated NK cell approach could lead to breakthrough treatments for multiple cancers,” Ashwin Raguraman, founding partner of Bharat Innovation Fund said.

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