India’s Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), a state-funded biotech accelerator, has helped commercialise over 17 innovations that are helping the country fight the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In late March, upon realisation that India will face a huge crisis in terms of availability of healthcare innovations, C-CAMP launched the Covid-19 Innovation Deployment Accelerator (C-CIDA), with the aim of picking near-deployment ready innovations from India and supporting them to get to the field, Taslimarif Saiyed, C-CAMP’s director and CEO, said in an email.
These innovations—such as diagnostics kits and non-invasive ventilators—are the result of entrepreneurial efforts that received C-CAMP’s backing. It received over a thousand applications and identified about 30 innovations to support. C-CAMP provides both financial support and physical space, labs and equipment for startups to develop their products.
India is beginning to cautiously emerge from a two-month lockdown starting March 24, which brought the country’s economy to near standstill. In areas where the incidence of the viral infection is low—typically called Orange or Green zones—economic activity is now being permitted, with shops opening, and manufacturing restarting at limited capacity
The C-CIDA programme prompted a robust response from entrepreneurs around the country. “We are happy to share that we have now 17 innovations now in the market (at hospitals/clinics etc), serving the nation,” Saiyed said. These including non-invasive ventilators, rapid diagnostic kits, and new technologies for surface and air sanitisation.
Among the ventures C-CAMP picked to support are Coéo Labs
and Avyantra, which make ‘assisted respiratory devices’, while Cosara Diagnostics and Ampligene Diagnostics are working in the field of modern diagnostics. Another venture, AnaBio, is working in preventative technologies. Other selected startups are focussed on vital parameters monitoring, AYUSH certified preventatives, air and surface sanitisation, cold chain for diagnostics and telemedicine.
C-CAMP also partnered with multiple agencies o promote and support the C-CIDA programme, including Health Innovation Exchange, UNAIDS, Social Alpha, India Health Fund, CCMB, Atal Incubation Centre at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Xynteo and its India 2022 coalition, MedTech Connect, Springboard, PATH—an international, nonprofit global health organisation based in Seattle—and Action Covid-19 Team.
“We hope this effort has played a crucial role during this challenging time, by augmenting our indigenous innovations to make an impact at national level, in collaboration with govt and other stakeholders,” Saiyed said.