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IFC, Dutch firm to invest $7.5 m in Avesthagen

Raghuvir Badrinath  |  Bangalore 

Just months after Godrej and Cipla made their strategic investments in Bangalore-based Avestha Gengraine Technologies (Avesthagen), World Bank affiliate International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) are close to investing $7.5 million in this emerging biotechnology firm.
This Series B round of funding is expected to be closed by March this year.
Avesthagen is one of India's promising fully-integrated biotechnology and bioinformatics companies, focusing on the convergence between food, pharma and clinical genomics leading to preventive personalised medicine.
Avesthagen provides innovative solutions for global challenges in agriculture and health problems in the areas of degenerative conditions, metabolic disorders and infectious diseases.
It was founded by Villoo Morawala Patel, a Ph D in plant molecular biology from the University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France and now the Vice-Chairperson & CEO of Avesthagen.
In early 2001, the company raised its first round of venture capital of $2 million from ICICI Ventures, Tata Industries and the erstwhile Global Trust Bank, now merged with Oriental Bank of Commerce.
No comments were available from the company on the deal. IFC and FMO both support the private sector in developing countries.
With this fresh round of funding, Avesthagen will accelerate the market delivery of its existing discovery pipeline. Avesthagen's research programme envisages developing and marketing a range of clinically validated nutritional compounds as branded products over the next five years.
First to emerge from the pipeline will be validated compounds for degenerative conditions next year.
The leads will be licensed to large food for use as nutraceutical supplements and functional foods. For this Avesthagen is seeking to establish early-stage partnerships with large nutritional food
The partnership will enable Avesthagen to incorporate the partner's understanding of the unmet market needs and available marketing opportunities for nutritional foods at an early stage of the discovery process.

First Published: Wed, January 05 2005. 00:00 IST
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