Future lies in cancer, healthcare analytics: Ravi Venkatesan, Strand Life Sciences board member

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BANGALORE: Ravi Venkatesan, who joined the board of Bangalore-based Strand Life Sciences, is bullish on the healthcare data analytics firm offering genetics-based treatment, which he believes will transform cancer treatment globally.

For this reason, Indian Institute of Science founded Strand Life Sciences which is aiming to make it big in the diagnostic space to help it more than double its revenues from the current $8 million in the coming 12 months.

“The advances in genomics would dwarf the ones in computer sciences,” said Ravi Venkatesan, who is also an independent board member at Infosys and Swedish truck maker, Volvo. “The real future lies in cancer screening and diagnostics. And Strand Life Sciences is the world leaders in this,” said Ravi. “I have known Chandru (founder of Strand) for 25 years. They have built amazing science but don’t know how to commercialise it.

Hopefully, now they will be able to monetise on this science,” Ravi told ET in an interview. Strand Life Sciences on its part believes that it has reached a stage from which it can scale up and monetise on its current “R&D and intellectual property” and compete in a space that is led by Boston-based Foundation Medicine, the maker of a genetic profiling test for cancer and valued at $1 billion.

Strand currently has over 200 employees and scientific software sales account for almost all the company’s Rs 50 crore revenue, with about 90% of business generated from outside India. Last week, the company tied up with Bangalorebased cancer care hospital chain HCG Hospitals, under which data scientists from Strand would help the physicians at the hospital with genomics-based diagnostics.

“For the first year, we expect to touch the three-figure mark and by 2015-16, we aim to reach another three digit growth,” said Vijay Chandru, chief executive of Strand Life sciences, who co-founded the firm with Ramesh Hariharan, V Vinay and Swami Manohar.

Source: IndiaTimes

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