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4 winners and 4 special jury mentions announced at C-CAMP AMR Quest 2020, a one-of-its-kind hunt dedicated to innovations in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Bengaluru, NFAPost: The C-CAMP AMR Quest 2020, launched by Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms – C-CAMP as part of the CARB-X Global Accelerator Network (GAN) has identified four winning startups/innovators as winners at the Grand Finale held earlier this evening.

Another four found special mention by the Grand Jury. The rewards for the winners include a 3-month C-CAMP AMR Accelerator Program and an all-expenses paid participation in any one of 4 major AMR international Conferences/Programs in France, UK, Netherlands and Germany.

The AMR Quest 2020 that was launched on February 15th, aims to identify, reward and nurture exceptional innovative ideas and solutions in the AMR domain that can potentially cut across geographies in tackling superbugs and superbug-related infections.

Stem Cell Science

The winners of the first C-CAMP AMR Quest 2020 are Dr Shridhar Narayanan, FNDR Labs, for novel, small-molecule antibiotics, Tanay Bhatt, an academician from DBT Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine for a nextgen antimicrobial class of peptides, Dr Dhananjay Dendukuri, Achira Labs for a rapid molecular diagnostic platform for UTI-related infections and Dr Chirag Pandya, Ampligene for a real-time AMR test panel.

The 4 special jury recommendations are Dr R Chidambaram from MKV Organics, for an antibacterial fabric using Ganoderma Lucidum, a traditionally known medicinal fungus, Dr Vasudha B from Aristogene, for bacteriophage treatment for infections in poultry, Dr Dipti Sareen, Panjab University, for two-component lantibiotics, and Dr Sarath Nair, SRM Institutes, for a one-step nucleic acid-based pathogen detection.

Commenting on the initiative, C-CAMP Dr Taslimarif Saiyed CEO & Director said Covid-19 pandemic caught us unawares.

“But we cannot say the same for Antimicrobial Resistance. An infection without cure like the present pandemic is a curtain-raiser for the gravity of the public health challenge AMR poses. We need to fight back through a holistic, cohesive approach by all stakeholders including end users to build and sustain the next crop of AMR innovations,” C-CAMP Dr Taslimarif Saiyed CEO & Director.

Middle stage innovations

C-CAMP Dr Taslimarif Saiyed CEO & Director said the AMR Quest is an attempt in this direction. This AMR Quest cohort will be inducted into a soon-to-be-launched a 3-month long AMR dedicated accelerator to handhold early and middle stage innovations.

Interestingly the AMR Quest top 8 touch upon all 3 cornerstones of AMR prevention and control, viz. therapeutics, preventatives and diagnostics including animal health.

The gamut of domains underlines the critical significance of ‘One Health’ as a global approach. Moreover, winners span both pre-Proof of Concept and post-Proof-of-concept ideas highlighting their clear commercial potential.

Government of India Department of Biotechnology Secretary and BIRAC Chairperson Dr Renu Swarup proposed a globally connected dedicated AMR incubator to help build AMR innovations ground-up in India.

“Funding is only one component of startup support. What is usually missed out is ecosystem support through incubation, acceleration, handholding,” Government of India Department of Biotechnology Secretary and BIRAC Chairperson Dr Renu Swarup.

Drug discovery

The Quest that attracted a whopping~500 applications from all over India set up a rigorous vetting process by India’s leading experts from Government and Industry in AMR diagnostics, drug discovery, drug safety, clinical research and anti-infectives.

124 made it to the first-round review of which 66 presented to Jury in 6 domain-specific expert panels. Numbers were whittled down further to a final 18 who pitched to Grand Jury comprising of stalwarts like Dr Anand Anandkumar, Bugworks, Dr T. S. Balganesh, Gangagen Biotechnologies, Dr.Sundeep Sarin, DBT, Govt. of India, Dr Vis Niranjan, RxMD, Dr.Radha Rangarajan, Healthcubed and Dr Vishal U S Rao, Innaumation Medical Devices.

CARB-X Project Management Director Dr Rich Lawson said the key to CARB-X success has been in strong partnerships.

“We are happy to partner with C-CAMP to cultivate AMR innovations emerging from India through this Quest. In India the transition from startup to company needs to be energized. That will harness some of the pathbreaking scientific innovations happening in India for benefit of patients and society,” said CARB-X Project Management Director Dr Rich Lawson.

India is one of the few countries globally to have a National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and is a signee to the World Health Assembly’s Global Action Plan on AMR since 2015. One of the major thrust areas of the NAP-AMR is to raise awareness on the issue and to encourage investment in new tools for diagnosis, therapy and prevention.

Ecosystem support

The AMR Quest is an effort by C-CAMP in that direction, a much-needed beginning for wider ecosystem support towards traction and commercialization of the breakthrough science being done in this crucial domain.

Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) is India’s premier innovation and technology hub as well as one of the largest life science incubators in the country.

A Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, supported initiative, C-CAMP’s mandate is to enable cutting-edge life science research and innovation, and promote life science entrepreneurship.

C-CAMP is now connected to 1000+ start-ups across India, 150 of which have directly benefitted from its various schemes and over 50 of these have have raised more than ₹600 Crores INR in follow-on funding under C-CAMP’s tutelage. It is a member of the Bangalore Life Sciences Cluster (BLiSC). Find more details on

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