Rebalance Startup: Hyderabad-based, synthetic biology startup D-NOME raises $1.5M in seed
D-NOME is a synthetic biology company from India on a mission to democratize molecular diagnostics with the world’s first device-less PCR tech, enabling precision & personalized medicine at scale.
Their technology meets the WHO ASSURED criteria (affordable, sensitive, specific, user-friendly, rapid and robust, equipment-free, and deliverable to end-users) for medical devices and therefore has the potential for faster adoption and scale through affordability.
Founded in 2021 by scientists turned entrepreneurs, Divya Sriram and Sujoy Deb, who combined their experience in molecular diagnostics and next-gen genome sequencing to build rapid, accurate, and point-of-care diagnostics for human infectious diseases and other applications.
They have recently announced their Seed Round of $1.5M led by Ankur Capital and joined by other investors- Campus Fund, 8X Ventures, 3iPartners/Impact Fund, and Seeders (LV angel fund).
They previously raised pre-seed funding from Entrepreneur First and received the national BIG-BIRAC grant (IKP-Hyderabad), Nidhi-Prayas Grant (AIC-Banasthali) and were winners of the Hello Tomorrow Global Deep Tech Challenge 2021.
They are initially incubated at Atal Incubation Centre-CCMB and were recently part of Rebalance Accelerator Cohort 04 in 2022.
1 in 4 people worldwide suffers from infectious diseases in developing nations with over 60% of diseases being respiratory infections.
Early detection is the key to successfully combating the spread of diseases, and enabling personalized care and cure. The recent CoVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that the scale of testing is as important as the accuracy of testing for infectious diseases. The existing methods of testing, including antigen RT-PCR, are either expensive, slow, or inaccurate — There is a need for an early detection tool that is point-of-care and scalable.
This is where D-NOME’s proprietary platform diagnostic technology, based on synthetic biology and genomics, comes into play. Their unique DNA/ RNA amplification technology enables scalability and ease-of-use like rapid tests while being more accurate like RT-PCR, thus, removing the need for complex machines, multi-step protocols, and skilled labor.
“We believe in the One Health initiative and through D-NOME we are creating tools that enable us to achieve that. Our mission is to fill the gap in testing and enable personalized medicine at scale, something that has not been successful due to a lack of scalable and accurate diagnostic tools. We hope to create a significant impact socially and economically for developing nations and pave the way for Next-Gen healthcare relying heavily on genomics” commented Divya Sriram, co-founder at D-NOME.
“D-NOME’s unique cost-effective platform technology will curb the spread of infectious diseases across a range of industry applications. The team at D-NOME has the right mix of science, engineering, and product leadership to transform the diagnostics market as a whole. We’re excited to partner with them at this early stage of the journey to unlock immense value from India to the world”, said Ritu Verma, Managing Partner & Co-founder, of Ankur Capital.
The technology has already been tested on numerous clinical samples across strains of CoVID-19 with high accuracy. The recent fundraise aims to accelerate the clinical trials and scale up for deployment. The technology has the power to rapidly screen not only multiple infectious diseases with high accuracy but also can be expanded to a screening of non-communicable diseases.
Shalini Chhabra, Managing Partner at 3i Partners, [Silicon Valley-based Impact Fund] added “Despite being home to over 70% of Indians, rural India faces a significant shortage of high-quality diagnostic services. D-NOME’s solution has the potential to disrupt the existing technology and infrastructure in terms of ease to use, the time required from test to result, and its ability to be implemented at the point of care with significantly lower costs.”
With their versatile platform technology, D-NOME aims to address the rapidly growing global $40 Billion diagnostics market, and a potential $51 Billion POCT diagnostics (B2B & B2C). End-consumers/ patients will be able to get access to high-quality & accurate diagnoses at affordable prices and faster results. The adjacent markets that D-NOME will target parallelly are agriculture, livestock, and sequencing-based diagnostics.
“D-NOME is transforming molecular diagnostics to help diagnostic labs & hospitals reduce their time, effort, and operational costs invested in the entire molecular diagnostics workflow. We’re thrilled to see them grow since they joined our accelerator cohort in 2022” added Aishwarya Malhi and Vikas Kumar, co-founders at Rebalance.