[Funding alert] Biotech startup Mestastop Solutions raises Rs 1.3 Cr led by CIIE.CO

Mestastop said it will use the funding to scale its AI-based platform METSCAN, which characterises cancer cells using patient data samples and their assay panels to understand the cell behaviour.
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Biotechnology startup Mestastop Solutions Pvt Ltd has raised seed funding of Rs 1.3 crore led by CIIE.CO and including participation from IKP Knowledge Park and Angels. 

Mestastop said it will use the funding to scale its AI-based platform METSCAN, which characterises cancer cells using patient data samples and their assay panels to understand the cell behaviour. It will further be utilised for running PoC animal model studies to validate proof of concept for Cancer drug discovery and repurposing. 

Founded in the year 2018, the startup’s unique edge is to be “the metastasis specialists” by creating a R&D leveraging the unique strengths of being in India. The company is based in Bengaluru, where it is bringing together a cross-functional team, trained in discovery, diagnostics and AI, supported by the state-of-the-art infrastructure available in India’s best bioscience incubators. Dr Arnab Roy Chowdhury and his wife Dr Debabani Roy Chowdhury are the brains behind Mestastop, which looks at bringing a revolution in cancer treatment.

Cancer metastasis, a complex biological process, is responsible for 90 percent of cancer-related deaths. According to Emergen Research 2020 report, the Global Metastatic Cancer Treatment Market is projected to be worth $111.16 billion by 2027.

Mestastop is creating a cancer metastasis focussed platform, which uses wet lab biology and predictive analytics to identify and distinguish unique properties of metastasis and leverage them for drug discovery and patient treatment. Mestastop has mimicked metastasis biology in multiple steps, each being represented by a cell-based functional assay. Summatively, these assays provide a biological model that will expedite the in vitro drug discovery efforts against metastasis. The colorectal and triple negative breast cancer-based platform is ready and Mestastop is normalising the colorectal platform with patient sample data.

Dr Arnab Roy Chowdhury, Founder and CEO, Mestastop, said, “An evolutionary disease like cancer cannot be holistically targeted without targeting metastasis, a process that is complex and is yet to be fully understood. We have successfully created tools and platforms to decipher this biology, translated it with patient data, and then into animal models completing our first phase."

"Now, we endeavour on the bigger journey of using these tools for first-in-class metastasis drug discovery and predictive diagnostics, that will give terminal cancer patients a second shot at life, further reinforcing India’s image as one of the pioneering innovation hubs in the Biotech world,” he added.

At present, the startup has initiated testing patient data samples as well as animal model validation. In addition to this, one international patent has been filed and another provisional patent is currently being drafted. 

“Globally, there are several startups focussing on cancer diagnostics and drug discovery. Mestastop is creating a niche for itself using assay and genetically engineered cell-based approaches to develop an AI-based platform to predict metastasis, and we are delighted to partner with them on this journey. We believe that their platform will play an instrumental role in changing cancer treatment in India and the world around,” added Chintan Antani, AVP, Seed Investments, CIIE.CO.

Mestastop has developed three proprietary platforms - METAssay, METSCAN, and METVivo to unravel metastasis drug discovery and predictive diagnostics. The startup is currently working on validating its platforms on a larger sample of patient tumours that will empower its IP creation. Previously, the company also received an investment from Vistari Ventures and Mumbai Angels.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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