Lonavala based biotechnology startup Mylab Discovery Solutions has received a Rs 1 crore grant from Action Covid-19 Team (ACT), an initiative set up by top fund managers and major venture capital firms, for developing Coronavirus detection kit.
The kits, which are approved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), are cheaper and faster than those developed by its international peers, the company has claimed.
Mylab claims to be the first to develop test kits for COVID-19 in India, which was done in a record time of six weeks.
Founded by Hasmukh Rawal and Shailendra Kawade, Mylab specialises in molecular diagnostics kits.
Other than the ACT grant, Mylab has raised an undisclosed sum from Serum India’s CEO Adar Poonawalla and Abhijit Pawar, Chairman of APG, a statement on the company website said. It plans to use the funds for scaling production of COVID-19 testing kits to 20 lakh kits per week from current 1.5 lakh.
Separately, ACT has also granted Rs 25 lakh to another initiative, a Covid-19 helpline, as per information on its website.
Raghavendra Prasad, co-founder of patent management platform Qikwell; Subhadeep Mondal co-founder of health-tech platform for pregnant women Pregbuddy; Rahul Gupta of Times Internet and Ganesh Chithambalam, founder of advertising platform Recotap, have created the helpline.
The helpline shares the burden of state-owned helplines and the data generated provides valuable input to state administration on how and where to mobilise healthcare resources.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stressed the need for diligent and continuous testing for detection of Coronavirus. India has so far only conducted 30,000 tests or mere 25 tests per million due to a lack of adequate testing kits as against 3,000 per million in the US, 7,000 per million in South Korea and 8,000 per million in Italy, a statement said.
ACT, set up by some of the leading startup founders and investors in the country, has launched a Rs 100 crore fund to support ideas and solutions fighting Covid-19. Startups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can apply for a capital infusion of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 crore.
Some of the notable sponsors to the ACT Grants include Kunal Shah of Cred, Deep Kalra of MakeMyTrip, Girish Mathrubootham of Freshworks, Ritesh Agarwal of OYO and Vijay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm, along with members of Accel, Sequoia, B Capital, Blume Ventures, GGV Capital, Fireside Ventures, Inventus, SoftBank and Lightspeed.