In a boost to efforts aimed at tackling the pandemic, a start-up incubated at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) has been selected for Covid-19 funding by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
OncoSeek Bio Pvt Ltd will receive funding support for developing an in vitro Lung Organoid model, from BIRAC which comes under the Union Science and Technology Ministry's Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
OncoSeek's project is one of 16 selected so far from the 500 proposals received for the Covid-19 research consortium. Dr Suresh Poosala, Founder CEO of OncoSeek, said: "Current animal models available for research on Covid-19 are either difficult to get into India or create them in time, to address the pandemic. The company envisages creating novel in vitro platforms for Covid-19 research under the support."
Under this grant proposal, the company plans to use their novel platform to screen drugs, peptides, molecules, agents, compounds targeted against the virus or the host cell. It plans to create this capability in the next 6 months. "With the help of talented faculty at the School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, and ASPIRE- BioNEST, they can address the challenges and bring out the science to understand and solve the Covid-19 puzzle."
OncoSeek is a start-up incubated at ASPIRE-BioNEST at UoH since 2019, and works on developing in vitro and in vivo platforms for specific diseases for therapeutics screening.
BioNEST at the University of Hyderabad is a life sciences incubator, set up with the support of the BIRAC, an enterprise under the DBT, to provide a plug-and-play life science ecosystem of incubation.