Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus Tata Sons Ltd., has invested in Invictus Oncology Private Limited, an innovation-driven oncology company developing next generation cancer therapeutics, the company announced in a press release.
This comes on the heel of the first B2B start-up, Moglix that was the latest investment of Tata.
Tata has invested in the company as part of the first close of Invictus’s Series A financing round, joining existing investors Navam Capital and Aarin Capital.
In the past 18 months, Tata has invested in a slew of start-ups, founded by Indian entrepreneurs, including Mogilix - B2B industrial goods start-up Moglix, Infinite Analytics Inc. - data analytics start-up, Snapdeal, Paytm (One97 Communications Ltd) - digital wallet provider, Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) -cab hailing service, Tracxn Technologies Pvt. Ltd - data analytics company, Dogspot.in -online pet supplies store and Zivame -- online lingerie store.
The funds raised will be used to advance Invictus’s lead molecule to completion of Phase I clinical studies, and to file a second Investigational New Drug (IND) application, milestones which translate into substantial value inflections for Invictus Oncology over the next 12-18 months.
Invictus Oncology employs a supramolecular technology platform to design anti-cancer drugs that home into the tumor and modulate the tumor immune response. Its lead molecule, IO 125, has already been validated in multiple cancer models, and is poised to enter IND-enabling studies to obtain US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) approval for initiating clinical studies, according to the company.
Invictus Oncology has already developed a deep pipeline of molecules, which address a $20 billion market opportunity in the oncology space. Recent acquisitions and partnership deals in this area have taken place at multi-billion dollar valuations.
“I have admired Ratan Tata’s insights and astute assessment of technology for decades now. So I am thrilled he has invested in Invictus, which is not just developing groundbreaking innovations for cancer treatment, but is also among the very first startups based out of India to tread the path of novel discovery and biotech innovation,” said Invictus co-founder Dr Raghunath A. Mashelkar.
“Tata’s investment is a strong affirmation of the quality of the technology that Invictus has developed. We are getting excellent traction from investors, both from India and outside” said Dr Shiladitya Sengupta, Co-Founder of Invictus and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Invictus Oncology is a biopharmaceutical company based in Delhi focused on the development of novel therapeutics for cancer treatment. It has co-founded by Harvard Medical School’s Dr Shiladitya Sengupta and Padma Vibhushan Dr Raghunath A. Mashelkar.
Navam Capital is a venture capital firm focused on seed and early-stage investments the in energy, technology and health care sectors. Aarin Capital invests in innovative ideas in the health care, life sciences and technology based products and services business pursuing large market opportunities that are led by driven and committed teams.