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Avestha Gengraine Technologies: Growing high

Introduction

Avestha Gengraine Technologies Pvt. Ltd. or Avesthagen is one of India's leading fully integrated biotechnology and bioinformatics companies. Avesthagen provides innovative solutions for global challenges in agriculture & health problems in the areas of degenerative conditions, metabolic disorders and infectious diseases. Focus is on convergence between food, pharma and clinical genomics leading to preventive personalized medicine.

Avesthagen is India’s first discovery-based biotechnology company whose head office is situated in Bangalore, India. Its unique and internationally recognized business model is built on the synergetic links between R&D services provided and on-going initiatives for novel product development. Avesthagen's vision has been to promote new drug discovery and support and enable Indian pharma companies to reach and address the needs of the global markets.

Inception and growth

Avesthagen had its academic beginnings in the National Centre for Biological Sciences campus and the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore in 1998. With the legacy of academic history and the vision to create and pioneer a system biology platform, Avesthagen ventured into the business domain as the first research & development biotechnology player in India.

The setting up of laboratories and scientific groups began simultaneously. Bioinformatics and Genomics facilities which includes infrastructure for sequencing, transformation and Marker Aided Selection and cDNA Library construction were set up to offer world-class services in the early 2000. Subsequently, the company ventured into ethnopharmacogenomics with the inception of the proteomics group.

The company received its seed funding from individual investor and Director Mr. Koen Wentink. The Board of Directors also includes Mr. Darius E. Udwadia, Chairman and Founder Partner; Dr. Villoo Morawala Patell, Vice-Chairperson, Founder and CEO; Mr. Nadir Godrej, Director; Dr. Marc Van Montagu, Director; and Mrs. Daulat Morawala, Director.

Global reach

To better access the global markets for capital and marketing opportunities, Avesthagen has established a wholly owned subsidiary in Europe after already having established one in USA. Having expanded its presence worldwide it established its main European office in Cambridge, making it the first Indian biotech company in the UK.

This global operational structure will enable the company to take advantage of availability of highly competent and internationally trained scientists in India, and access to India's unique biodiversity while maintaining the ability to raise capital and market its services and products in more mature markets.

Success story

In late 2000 company moved out of the traditional clusters and hubs of science into the International Technology Park, equipped with excellent environs for the business of science. The company has also set up its green house on 2 acres land in white field. Shortly, a 42,000 square feet state of the art R&D facility will be built.

The success of Avesthagen's discovery approach is reflected in the company's existing portfolio of 51 patent applications and 9 Patent Cooperation Treaties ( PCTs) covering gene discovery, transformation methodologies, pharmaceutical lead development and research processes.

In the early 2001, the company raised its first round of venture capital of US $ 2 million. The first round investors were ICICI Ventures, Tata Industries and Global Trust Bank. The company also receives funding from NMITLI (CSIR) and SPREAD Project. CIPLA & Godrej are strategic investors of Avesthagen.

Subsidiaries

  • Avesthagen Research Pvt. Ltd. (ARPL), which is a fully integrated biotechnology and bioinformatics platform with a unique business approach - Research Process OutsourcingTM (RPOTM).
  • Avesthagen Quality Agriculture Services (AQUAS) that has been established for the purpose of food, water & seed purity testing as well as seed development in the company’s labs located in Hyderabad.
  • Avesthagen Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary based in San Diego, U.S. It enables to access India's unique biodiversity while maintaining the ability to raise capital and market its products in more mature markets.

Avesthagen focuses on generating novel nutraceutical products through application of its integrated technology platform on the converging food and pharmaceutical sectors. The program is developing medicinal plant based solutions for chronic degenerative conditions such as diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, etc., where no effective treatment currently exists. Avesthagen plans to bring to market over the next few years a range branded therapeutic nutritional compounds with supporting clinically validation.

Human Resource

Avesthagen currently employs 140 people. It is the right organization for people with relevant technological skills. Avesthagen also encourages people who possess an innovative spirit and drive to take on challenges head on. Avesthagen provides a stimulating work environment, projects to work on state-of-the-art technologies and an opportunity to use them real-time.

A quick look through the company’s website revealed some current openings in the company in such diverse fields such as Research Process Outsourcing, Biotherapeutics, Bioinformatics and many more. The job profiles vary from that of Project Leader, Group Leader, Junior / Senior Research Fellow to Regulatory Officer and Functional Head – Bioinformatics / Biostatistics.

Postgraduates and Doctorates with specialization in the concerned field or area can avail the opportunity of being a part of this upcoming organization and contribute to the growth and development of biotechnology and bioinformatics in India.

For Comments: psjamwal@amity.edu

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