East Ventures Invests for the Production of Covid-19 Test Equipment
East Ventures, a venture capital company, raised IDR 10 billion to support startups in the field of genomic technology; Nusantics developed 100 thousand covid-19 test kits. A total of IDR 1 billion will be used for the whole genome sequencing project.
Nusantics is a member of the Task Force for Research and Technology Innovation for Handling co-19 (TFRIC19) formed by the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT). Over the next three weeks, Nusantics developed the real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) test kit.
Nusantics CEO Sharlini Eriza Putri said that the technology Nusantics used in microbiome skin analysis was almost the same as the technology needed to detect COVID-19. Nusantics team has experience in designing medical test-kits and bioinformatics analysis in similar projects.
“We are collaborating with various institutions to develop 100,000 test kits and specifically target the latest COVID-19 mutation profiles. We hope that this collaboration will be the beginning of the rise of the biology-based industry in Indonesia, “he explained.
The tool will be specifically designed for the Indonesian population, based on the results of research on Covid-19 from around the world. Nusantics and other TFRIC19 members will make 100 sets of qPCR test kits as prototypes, then mass-produce up to 100,000.
The company is committed to providing 100 sets of qPCR test kits as prototypes, then cooperates with several agencies including PT Biofarma (Persero) Tbk. and the Indonesia International Institute for Life Science for mass production with a target of 100,000 test kits.
Indonesia Pasti Bisa, the East Ventures Program to Support Nusantics Effort
Knowing that one of the startups it funded participated in handling the corona pandemic, East Ventures launched the Indonesia Pasti Bisa program. Through this platform, the company mobilizes its entire ecosystem to support Nusantics’ efforts.
“This is our first time leading non-profit funding,” said Co-founder and Managing Partner of East Ventures Willson Weather in a press release on Friday (3/27). In addition to producing test equipment, Nusantics is implementing a whole-genome sequencing project to map mutations of the virus that causes Covid-19.
Genomic mapping of various variants of this virus is important because genetic material tends to mutate rapidly into various forms according to the area of its spread.
The results of the mapping of viral genomics will be used for research and vaccine development. Also, the data can be used to validate the test kits developed by Nusantics and others. Therefore, East Ventures raised funds with a target of IDR 10 billion.
A total of IDR 9 billion will be used to support Nusantics to develop 100 thousand free covid-19 test kits, while IDR 1 billion will be used for the whole genome sequencing project. The movement to disburse funds began on Monday (3/30), at 09.00 WIB. The public can participate through Indonesiapastibisa.com.
Koinworks and IDN Media Join In This Program
East Ventures also involves Koinworks and IDN media. This financial technology startup (fintech) provides and manages a funding platform. The funds collected will be directly channeled to purchase raw materials and equipment.
The use of funds will be audited by a third party. Then, IDN Media will be involved as a transparency partner. Every week, the progress and results of teamwork will be published. “Nusantics, with deep tech capabilities in the field of bioscience, is at the forefront of this project,” William said.
Nusantics CEO Sharlini Eriza Putri said, the technology to analyze microbiome skin is almost the same as that used to detect coronavirus. On one hand, Nusantics personnel also have experience in designing medical test-kits and bioinformatics analysis in similar projects.
This is what drives companies to help the government deal with the spread of the corona pandemic. “We hope this collaboration will be the beginning of the revival of biology-based industries in Indonesia,” Sharlini said.