Bengaluru-based OncoStem Diagnostics, an oncology-focused startup offering personalized cancer treatment, has raised $6 million from Silicon Valley heavyweight investor Sequoia India, reported Times of India.

The funding round also saw the participation of its existing investor Artiman Ventures, a California-based VC firm which has so far pumped $3 million in multiple tranches since the company was founded. OncoStem will use the freshly raised funds in R&D to develop new products as well as expand its operations go deeper into Asia and Europe.

Founded by Manjiri Bakre in 2011, OncoStem is focused on personalized cancer treatment planning through the development of tests that try to effectively predict the chance of cancer recurrence in patients. OncoStem's first focus has been the development of CanAssist-Breast which identifies the risk of recurrence in patients with Hormone Receptor positive Breast Cancer. Similar tests in Oral, Lung, and Colorectal Cancer are under development. The company is present in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh currently.

"We will allocate the new capital to expand our presence in Asia firstly and then look into markets like Europe, Middle East etc. While expansion is a focus point, we will invest in our R&D so that we can come up with new products to follow up with our lead product. We aim to develop innovative and cost-effective tests that will help predict and assess the risk of recurrence in cancer patients, thus providing doctors with an actionable blueprint for personalised treatments," said Manjiri Bakre, founder and CEO, OncoStem Diagnostics.

The company plans to expand its presence in India and introduce tests in new markets like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and Singapore. Moreover, the company is also planning to set up another central laboratory in Singapore.

While patients can reach out to the Bengaluru-based startup directly, OncoStem also works with hospitals to develop its distribution network."OncoStem is filling a critical need gap and helping thousands of cancer patients from severe chemotherapy, its associated toxic effects and the costs involved with it. The technology and pricing can fundamentally change patient's access to such cutting edge tests, which have been prohibitively expensive in most markets globally so far," said Anjana Sasidharan, principal, Sequoia India.


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