National Science Day is celebrated in India on February 28 every year to mark Sir C.V. Raman’s discovery of the Raman Effect. It was an important discovery in the field of scattering of light for which this brilliant physicist won the Nobel Prize in 1930. His discovery states that when the light traverses through a transparent object some of it gets dispersed and the dispersed light changes its wavelength and amplitude, though slightly.
Scientists in India continue to make the world a better place with their discoveries and inventions. Some of them have founded startups that are making India proud with their brilliance. On National Science Day 2021, we present ‘Made in India’ science-based startups making waves.
This startup ‘designs’ and engineers proteins for an array of applications. The principal goal of the company is to develop technologies for engineering and producing proteins and antibodies for applications ranging from research & development; academic explorations, diagnostics setups and even therapeutics. The founder members are scientists from the field of life sciences with wide experience in basic as well as applied sciences.
Protein Design has developed a proprietary single-dose immunization for antibody raising; glycoprotein expression in the yeast with human-like glycan moieties; and humanization Assays for receptor-ligand interaction.
Started by Anirudh Sharma & Rahul Rawat in 2018 from their dormitory at Lovely Professional University, Digantara is India’s first air and space surveillance company. It has developed India’s first In-orbit Space Debris Monitoring and tracking system, which is based on LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology. The system will provide global real-time earth coverage by deploying a constellation of cost-efficient nanosatellites in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and a space-based air surveillance payload for accurate tracking of both aircraft and space objects.
Digantara will help international space agencies to track and map space debris and minimize the major threat to the future of space exploration. India is well known as a low-cost space-faring nation. Taking the legacy forward, Digantara will build cost-effective and affordable space systems, which is only possible if we are stationed in India.
Healthseq Precision Medicine
Precision medicine is an approach to patient care that allows doctors to select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on a genetic understanding of their disease. Healthseq Precision Medicine was incubated at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in March 2020. It was founded by a group of highly experienced scientists with a single-minded goal of developing solutions in precision medicine using a systems engineering approach, combining data from variety of sources to enable targeted therapy, reduce risk and increase efficiencies in the healthcare system. The startup is led by Prof. Nagasuma Chandra, a structural biologist and biochemist. She is known for her studies on Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Bengaluru-based startup Mynvax has been working on a vaccine for local influenza and has extended their work to developing a heat-tolerant vaccine for Covid-19. Biophysicist Raghavan Varadarajan heads Mynvax and has received funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and IISc.
This startup’s heat-tolerant vaccine could be a game-changer for India’s inoculation drive. It can withstand 70º C for around 16 hours. In contrast, the front runner, AstraZeneca-Oxford’s Covishield vaccine, produced by Serum Institute of India, will have to be refrigerated at 2-8º C. The founder said that Rs. 15 crore is needed for administering the vaccine in human clinical trials. The vaccine can be certified by the middle of 2022 if everything goes well.