Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

MedGenome raises $30M through Series C

MedGenome Secures $30M in Series C Funding Led by Sequoia India and Sofina

The company aims to accelerate adoption of cost effective genetic diagnostics


Sam Santhosh, Founder and Chairman of MedGenome
MedGenome, the leading genomics research and diagnostics company, announced completion of $30 million in Series C financing led by Sequoia India and Sofina s.a., with participation by Zodius Capital; Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder and former CEO of Infosys; and Lakshmi Narayanan, former CEO of Cognizant.
The Series C funding will accelerate development of the company’s affordable diagnostics tests and expand the market penetration by increasing customer awareness on the importance of genetic tests. Additionally, the funding will also be used to broaden biomarker discovery programs.
MedGenome operates the largest Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) lab in South East Asia, and a CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited sequencing lab in Foster City, CA. The company’s services are being leveraged by pharmaceutical and biotech companies across the globe. MedGenome’s diagnostics tests include many “firsts” for genetic diagnostics in India, including first liquid biopsy “OncoTrack” for monitoring cancer treatment, non-invasive prenatal screening test (NIPT) for pregnant women, carrier screening test for couples planning on a baby, and whole exome sequencing test for identifying mutations in rare diseases.
With over a million babies born each year with genetic disorders, India carries a huge genetic disorder burden.
“Precision medicine is the ultimate goal of clinicians and patients alike which can be enabled through extensive biomarker discovery,” said Sam Santhosh, Founder and Chairman of MedGenome. “MedGenome has established leadership in genetic diagnostics for inherited diseases in India. We will now expand DNA based testing to cover infectious diseases like tuberculosis” he added.
“MedGenome continues to emerge as a leading genomics company bringing affordable and high quality genetic testing to emerging market consumers, supporting physicians make better decisions and leveraging the power of that data to potentially impact global drug discovery market,” said Abhay Pandey, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital India Advisors. “Sequoia is excited to continue this partnership and are committed to helping MedGenome strengthen its proposition to consumers and doctors in these markets and become a significant player globally in the arena of precision medicine through data from the currently underrepresented emerging markets including India”.
"I am investing in MedGenome which addresses the extraordinary opportunities that exist today in the development of precision medicine” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder and former CEO Infosys. “MedGenome’s platform and network are designed to generate actionable insights for clinicians to diagnose and provide better management for complex diseases at reasonable costs."
“Sofina is looking forward to this partnership to broaden the use of genomics-based diagnostics in the Indian healthcare sector, and tap into the value of Indian genetic data for research. We believe MedGenome's efforts will have a definitive impact on healthcare delivery in India and around the world,” said Xiao-Tian Loi, Investment Manager at Sofina.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Startup Tea Talk - March 21, 2017


Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Hindu - Oct 12, 2016

Sam’s world of science

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Entrepreneur Sam Santhosh is leading genetic research with his laboratories across the country. Genomics is the next big thing for humanity, he says

gene manSam Santhosh, CEO SciGenome, loves reading and archaeologyphoto: H.vibhu
gene man Sam Santhosh, CEO SciGenome, loves reading and archaeology photo: H.vibhu
Asecond innings is almost always about new beginnings and not always about cricket. For Sam Santhosh, Silicon Valley entrepreneur from the State, it is about embarking on a completely new path of genetic research, different from his earlier preoccupation with the software industry. It is also about his fascination for the prehistoric and related travels to remote archaeological digs.
His first success story was marked by several business acquisitions in the US and in the founding of an IT company Calsoft, a product re-engineering firm, in 1992, which grew to global proportions. He sold it handsomely in 2009 and began his second innings.
This time round he is a far more “relaxed” entrepreneur, a man who now wishes to wield his experience in ways to help societies, monetise new opportunities and indulge in his varied interests - history, mathematics and reading to name a few.
When most entrepreneurs still looked at genetic research with unease Sam pre-empted the next big thing that will be the vehicle of change for humanity as was the computer 30 years ago. He switched to genetic research founding SciGenom Inc.- a genomics R&D organisation, in 2010.
“The entire genetics research has been a long struggle. It took three billion dollars, 12 years of work and 15 countries to arrive at the first human genome sequence but genomics is the future, the next big thing, a much bigger revolution than computers. This may take another 25 years to play out but its impact on humanity will be bigger. This is the best chance, specifically for India, to use this moment for related research that will be useful to the people and country,” he says sitting in the boardroom of Hotel Le Meridien, on the sidelines of a global convention on genetic research hosted by his foundation. The first such mega event was held in Thiruvanthapuram in 2011 followed by, next year, in Chennai.
Hailing from Thrissur, and after his MBA from IIM Kolkata, Sam worked on his own in Kochi for three years, computerising businesses before he left for California in 1991. The eco-system there nurtured an out-of-the-box thinking, a trait that he wishes to ingrain into young mindsets here.
“If Steve Jobs was in India, he would have definitely done well but he could not have founded Apple - though he did come to India and drew his philosophy from here,” he says implying that scientific thinking needs to be stoked among students and start ups here and that India has the philosophical edge to back that. In payback mode Sam organised a reading initiative in 2014 along with Kairali channel to inculcate reading habits among MBA students. His gene research lab in Kochi and the spin-off companies MedGenome, soon to become in Silicon Valley parlance, a unicorn, Agri-Genome in Hyderabad are satellite labs into research, DNA Sequencing and Analysis and promote scientific thinking. “DNA sequencing is the powerhouse. It is a technology that will help other industries find solutions. In fact, we incubate solutions,” he says.
Currently Sam is savouring the moment with top scientists who are working on important discoveries, debunking myths, finding answers and exploring the unknown. “It’s an exciting field,” he says, adding that the capacity and funding for scientific research in India is low.
In his new scheme of things his other passions - reading and travelling - play an important part. He travels often guided by his keen interest to archaeological digs where he diligently follows unearthing the dead past, the latest being to the dig in Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, where the Chola empire excavations dating back to 950AD are underway.
“The biggest story unsaid in South Indian history is about the second Chola Empire, from 950AD-1300 AD. In this part of the world not only was it the biggest empire but its influence in South and South East Asia is under appreciated,” he says revealing his deep interest in history of South India, something that he wishes to collate in detail.
With altruistic diversions has business taken a back-seat in his second innings? His work model is new and is about off shoots and spin-offs from a core concept. “People have not done this before, but wealth will be generated through spin-offs,” he says adding sequencing services will incubate other services. “This is the goal. It made sense to invest.” With a clear roadmap for scientific development in the future and buzzing with novel ideas Sam wishes that the scientist in India would be more appreciated. For his business is all about the power of the scientist and of monetising the power of science for humanity.