Start-up company shines in Ventura 2012

Research scholar Mukesh Kumar is ready with a road map to revolutionise non-invasive prenatal screening.

Published - June 04, 2012 08:14 pm IST

Mukesh Kumar

Mukesh Kumar

Envisaged to revolutionise non-invasive prenatal screening, eBiogen, a novel medical device conceptualised by a Ph.D. student of Lancaster University at Ventura 2011, one of India's biggest international business plan competitions organised by National Institute of Technology – Tiruchi, is poised for incubation at TREC-STEP (Tiruchi Regional Engineering College – Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park).

By virtue of finishing first runner-up at Ventura, the UK-based start-up company eBiogen Limited, focussing on development of reliable bio-diagnostic technologies for portable bio-diagnostic applications has been recommended for DSIR innovation grant under Technopreneur Promotion Programme by TREC-STEP, according to Mukesh Kumar, a founder of the company who pursues Ph.D. as a Leverhulme fellow at Lancaster University. The co-founder Rashmi is also a researcher at Lancaster University.

The eBiogen project will be mentored by M.S. Rao and A.S. Rao, Professors at IIM Ahmedabad, and C. Amarnath, Professor, IIT Mumbai, said Mr. Mukesh Kumar.

Following its success at Ventura that the NIT-T conducted in association with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and NSRCEL, Bangalore, the eBiogen project also made it to the finals of Rice Business Plan Competition, the world's largest and richest business plan competition in 2012. Forty two teams were selected for the tough competition out of over 400 applications from around the world.

Mr. Mukesh is confident about the eBiogen affecting people's lives positively by providing accurate diagnosis and India readying itself up to accept a new paradigm that will prove invaluable in industrial and academic research and innovation. Citing Sandler Research, 2011, Mr. Mukesh said the market size of in-vitro diagnosis was 50 billion US dollars witnessing growth of 10 per cent per year. The accuracy of low-cost diagnosis, he explained, will give parents a chance to treat a fetus with the early diagnosed condition or be prepared

psychologically, socially, financially and medically for a baby with a health problem or disability, or even for the likelihood of a stillbirth. Invasive prenatal tests often used in healthcare carry the risks of miscarriage and birth of abnormal babies. eBiogen's breakthrough technology has no side-effects of risks, he said, adding that the start-up company was also looking forward to offering training courses to engineering/ biotechnology/ nanotechnology students at UG and PG levels, imparting them the knowledge and skills required to design and build micro-scale devices that will enrich their understanding of interdisciplinary projects and their applications.

Mr. Mukesh who was nominated for SET (Science, Engineering and Technology Student of the Year) awards from Lancaster University in 2008 went on the receive prestigious awards such as Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS, London) research grant, Higher Education Innovation Fund (UK research council), Leverhulme PhD studentship (Leverhulme Trust, UK), Peel Studentship (Peel Studentship Trust, UK), and Education grant awarded by the American Services to India (USA).

Said Mr. Mukesh, “Our low cost diagnostic tests will enable a large number of people to have access to healthcare tests in under-developed parts of India and other countries. We will be collaborating with a couple of Indian healthcare market leaders have evinced interest in our technology.”

Incidentally, Mr. Mukesh is also the founder of another start-up Hygeia Bioresearch Private Limited, which has secured approval of the Registrar of Companies, India, and for which a patent application has been accepted by the UK Intellectual Property Office.

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