Bengaluru and Delaware-based drug discovery startup Bugworks Research has raised around ₹62 crores ($9 million) in series A funding led by University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC).
Other investors that participated in the round include South Africa-based Acquipharma Holdings, 3one4 Capital, along with angels Marcus Schabacker, former chief strategic officer of Baxter Healthcare, Shrikumar Suryanarayan, former head of research and development, Biocon.
The funds raised will be used to boost its clinical trials to test the efficiency of its drugs.
Bugworks Research was founded by Dr Anand Anandkumar, along with Santanu Datta and V Balasubramanian in 2017. It aims to combat drug-resistant superbugs by inventing antibiotics that will be effective in combating the antimicrobial resistance.
“The company, in three years, has invented a novel class of antibiotics for superbugs. We have completed several animal tests. The plan is to enter human trials by 2020,” said Anand Anandkumar, CEO, Bugworks Research.
Bugworks Research last raised an undisclosed amount of funds from CARB-X in June 2018. CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) is a public-private partnership that aims to protect humans from serious antibacterial threats by accelerating antibacterial research. It provides business, financial, and scientific support to startups to help them in their early-phase.
UTEC is a Tokyo-based early-stage technology-focused investment firm. It invests in early-stage startups helping the global society through innovation. The firm has around $500 million under management.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 25 patients is expected to acquire an infection from their stay in the hospital, and 10 million deaths will occur across the globe if the antibiotic resistance is left unchecked.
With the latest funding, the startup will be boosting its efforts to tackle this global issue as drug-resistant bacterias become a serious threat to humans.