University of Hyderabad Start-up Oncoseek Bio Bags USISTEF COVID-19 Challenge Grant

Oncoseek Bio Pvt Ltd, one of the start-up companies of ASPIRE-BioNEST at University of Hyderabad has received the USISTEF under COVID-19 Ignition Grants for a “Novel therapeutic strategy to fight against Covid-19”.

The project was one of the 11 selected out of 520 proposals that were received and evaluated. This is the second competitive grant that the company is receiving. Earlier it has received a grant from BIRAC, Govt. of India to develop a platform to screen the potential drug candidates for Covid 19.

Oncoseek Bio, is proposing to create antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) that can target and kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The antibodies are conjugated to drug/Zn nanoparticle (ADCs), which would release the drug of choice at the site of action.

The start-up has partnered with August Avery of Cornell University, USA to test the efficacy of these potential ADCs against Covid-19 in mice.

Congratulating the Oncoseek Bio team, Prof. Appa Rao Podile, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad said that this development augurs well for the ASPIRE-BioNEST that is focussing on quality over quantity and the focus is paying dividends.