Amicus, Kotak PE invest in Bharat Serums founder’s medical testing venture

 Amicus, Kotak PE invest in Bharat Serums founder’s medical testing venture

Private equity firms Amicus Capital and Kotak Investment Advisors Ltd have joined hands to invest an undisclosed amount in a three-year-old venture founded by the erstwhile promoter of Bharat Serums & Vaccines, Bharat Daftary.

Rivaara Labs, a testing services and research and development-focused molecular diagnostics (MDx) company, said Monday it has raised its first institutional round of equity led by the two PE firms.

Bharat Daftary, the founder of Rivaara, also participated in the round.

Rivaara is a vertically integrated MDx company founded in 2019 that has developed PCR-based test kits in collaboration with European research labs. These tests, which are specifically developed for detecting pathogens prevalent in India, seeks to lead to early and effective treatments to save lives.

These products will also look to reduce the misuse of antibiotics which has led to the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant strains. Tests respiratory diseases, sepsis, TB, anti-microbial resistance, etc. will initially be made available through Rivaara’s own molecular diagnostic lab network.

The company plans to expand its network from 12 labs to around 60 labs across India, providing faster turnaround time to patients. Eventually, the kits will be made available to other diagnostics players and Rivaara will also tap into the international markets.

Rivaara said it also offers point-of-care products for patented novel biomarkers and manufactures reagents / enzymes with application in molecular biology and proteomic research. It plans to use the proceeds from the current round of fund raise to accelerate the development and commercialization of proprietary test kits, upgrade the manufacturing facilities and expand its lab network besides scaling up its talent base.

“The vision for Rivaara is to positively impact patient care by addressing gaps in widespread adoption of molecular diagnostics through a scientific sales force to create the right awareness, presence of local labs for faster processing of samples and international quality kits at affordable prices,” Daftary said.

Daftary had sold Bharat Serums to private equity firm Advent International three years ago.

Dhiraj Rajendran, Executive Director, Kotak Investment Advisors, said, “Advances in molecular diagnostics over the last few years have opened up possibilities for faster and more accurate ways to detect pathogens at affordable price points. Adoption of some of these advances such as RT-PCR tests was witnessed during response to Covid-19 pandemic.”

Rivaara is Amicus Capital’s eleventh investment from its maiden fund that had raised $88 million (Rs 636 crore). It had earlier invested across companies in financial services, technology, and consumer industries.

Vivek Sinha

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