At a time when medical researchers the world over are working on vaccines to handle rapidly-evolving coronaviruses, we’re excited to invest in and support a young Indian startup that has developed a vaccine platform that could fundamentally change our domestic healthcare sector.
Mynvax, a biotech startup incubated at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has developed a vaccine using the recombinant technology as against the typical cell culture or egg-based technology. With this technology, the vaccines can be taken from lab to market in a much shorter time period, making it faster to manufacture and easier to administer. The Mynvax vaccine is also a warm vaccine with high thermal tolerance, which eliminates complicated supply chains, storage, and logistics.
This recombinant vaccine was originally developed at the IISc, by Prof Raghavan Varadarajan, one of the cofounders of Mynvax. After a few years of research on developing these vaccines, Prof Raghavan partnered with biophysicist and entrepreneur Dr Gautham Nadig to start Mynvax in 2017. The startup today works on developing vaccines for respiratory diseases such as Covid-19 caused by the family of coronaviruses.
We at Accel believe that Mynvax’s work could be a starting point for solving healthcare problems in India. For the Covid-19 disease in particular, our investment will help Mynvax move from the R&D and animal trials stage to the clinical trials stage. India currently has only one domestic vaccine, developed by Bharat Biotech, but Mynvax could drastically improve the situation.
Since the time Covid-19 broke out, we at Accel knew that the pandemic was going to open up opportunities for startups to innovate and improve the Indian healthcare sector, and vaccination is a huge part of this. So, when we came across Mynvax and the incredible work that Professor Raghavan, Dr Gautham, and the rest of the team had done with the technology at the IISc, we almost instantly decided to partner with them.
Mynvax shows that biotech startups now have the ability to attract capital for innovation needs, and this is a massive market with the potential to change healthcare not just in India but globally as well. The vaccine development research and the technology they have adopted is fast to produce and is easily scalable, and has great potential for solving problems in the future as well.
The medical world has almost declared that Covid-19 and other such respiratory illnesses are here to stay, and that more pandemics are inevitable. Flu vaccines have been around for sixty years now and will continue to be in demand. Biotech companies will have to constantly make vaccines to fight against such illnesses, and work on improving efficacy as well. Billions of dollars are spent every year on flu vaccines and other respiratory vaccines and with COVID-19 this is only going to grow exponentially.
It is exciting to see an Indian startup setting foot into this global space, and we will be delighted if Mynax can be among the first companies to improve vaccine efficacy and administration, and transform healthcare globally.
Mahendran and Barath