Hottest Start-up: Soldiers against drug resistance terror

Here is how a two-year-old start-up is gearing up to fight the invisible emerging threat of antibiotic-resistance Armageddon


Bugworks Team: (L-R): Dr Santanu Datta, Dr V Bala Subramanian & Dr Anand Anandkumar

Established in 2014, Bugworks is a drug discovery start-up involved in finding novel biopharmaceutical assets in treating antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, using its proprietary systems biology platform.

The start-up is actually a spin-off of Cellworks, a ten-year-old company focused on designing therapeutics using simulations to screen studies and predicting clinical outcomes, thereby increasing success rates and reducing R&D development costs.

Cellworks is said to be the first company in India to use systems biology to study drug-disease interactions, and solving key issues in cancer drug discovery. It is an amalgamation of diverse areas such as mathematics, simulation, biochemistry and pharmacology in studying tumors, enabling creation of personalized medicine for cancer. Located in California, USA, and Bangalore, India, it was funded by investments from Artiman Ventures and Sequoia Capital.

The genesis of Bugworks began at Cellworks while the team started working on infection portfolio. In 2013, the Cellworks team wanted to focus its attention on a large unmet medical need with high mortality rates.

Their quest pointed them towards hospital-acquired infections.


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