Pune based startup ‘Kozhnosys’ gets funding boost by BIRAC

A portable, breath-based screening tool for breast cancer developed by the company has an enormous global potential for both financial and social impact

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Pune: Healthcare startup Kozhnosys, which is working on building cost-effective and easy-to-use medical diagnostic devices, has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding investment from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) SEED scheme, hosted at Venture Center.

“Currently, we are developing a breath-based breast cancer screening device called ‘CanScan’, which is designed to detect breast cancer as early as stage 1. Unlike mammography, this is a simple, safe, painless, and non-invasive technique that analyses the exhaled breath of a person and detects breast cancer markers.

The seed fund investment from BIRAC will be utilized for testing the prototype and conducting a wider observational study of exhaled breath of breast cancer patients.” Jilma Peruvangat founder and chief executive of Kozhnosys, said.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in India. Unfortunately, most cases are diagnosed at late stages where treatment becomes difficult and chances of survival diminish. Mammography screenings are recommended for women above 40 years age, although women in their 30’s are also being affected in increasing numbers. Moreover, mammography is often recommended when breast cancer patients become symptomatic, which happens at a later stage. Thus, the timely diagnosis of breast cancer in lower age groups is often missed due to lack of screening. So, Kozhnosys is solving a very urgent need of breast cancer screening as a part of routine health check-ups for women.

Their flagship product ‘CanScan’ is portable and user-friendly. It doesn’t require a trained professional for the operation of the device or for interpreting the results, so it can be installed in small centers and remote areas. In addition, the breath tests can be performed any number of times without causing any discomfort or side effects, a huge advantage over the current gold standard mammography technique.

Kozhnosys has previously received funding assistance under DST’s NIDHI PRAYAS scheme, and BIRAC’s Biotechnology Ignition Grant Scheme in 2017.

In his comments, Dr Premnath, Director, Venture Center mentioned: “BIRAC’s SEED – Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development – scheme was set up to support life sciences start-ups, with a funding of up to Rs 30 lakh. The Venture Center is very excited about the technology and the team behind  Kozhnosys. A portable, breath-based screening tool for breast cancer has the enormous global potential for both financial and social impact, and we are delighted to be part of this journey.”

“Kozhnosys is a woman-led enterprise with the promise of tremendous impact for women world-wide. Venture Center has been happy to have taken this idea and team from concept to the current stage,” added Dr Premnath.