D-NOME, a synthetic biology start-up has announced its Seed Round of $1.5 Mn from Ankur Capital, Campus Fund, and other investors. The other Investors in the round include 8X Ventures, 3iPartners/Impact Fund and Seeders (LV angel fund).
D-NOME is on its way to democratising molecular diagnostics with the world’s first deviceless PCR tech, enabling precision & personalized medicine at scale.
Started in July 2021 by PhD holders from The Centre of Cellular & Molecular Biology, Divya Sriram and Sujoy Deb, D-NOME’s focus is to build rapid, accurate and point-of-care diagnostics for human infectious diseases and other applications using genomics and synthetic biology.
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.
Today, there are 3 main methods of testing – Routine culture which is time-consuming and requires infrastructure, Rapid antigen/ antibody tests which are quicker but lack accuracy, and PCR/Real-time PCR (RT-PCR) tests which are the gold standard for accuracy but is expensive and need skilled labour. 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 the picture. With their deviceless DNA/ RNA amplification technology that is as accurate as RT-PCR and enables scalability and ease-of-use like rapid tests, D-NOME wants to remove the need for complex machines, multi-step protocols and skilled labour.
The technology has already been tested on numerous clinical samples across strains of CoVID-19, AMR pneumonia and TB with high accuracy. Being a platform technology, they have also tested for agricultural and livestock disease testing and food-quality testing with products expected to launch in 6 months.
Divya Sriram, Co-founder of D-NOME, said, “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 lack of scalable and accurate diagnostic tools. We hope to create significant impact socially and economically for developing nations and pave the way for Next-Gen healthcare relying heavily on genomics.”
Aarush Jain, Student- Investment Partner at Campus Fund, said, “With their breakthrough technology, D-NOME provides a value of 10x lower operational costs to labs and a 24x faster TAT with rapid scalability in a fraction of cost of what it would cost with current RT-PCR method. This enables diagnostic labs to not only increase their testing capacity but also expand into testing for different diseases. This coupled with the fact that the testing can be conducted at room or near-room temperature has them well positioned to disrupt the diagnostics space.”
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). 1 in 4 people worldwide suffers from infectious diseases in developing nations with over 60% of diseases being respiratory infections.
End-consumers/ patients will be able to get access to high-quality & accurate diagnosis at affordable prices and faster results. The adjacent markets that D-NOME will target parallelly are agriculture, livestock and sequencing-based diagnostics.
Ritu Verma, Managing Partner & Co-founder at Ankur Capital, said, “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.”