Special Startup Series: Innovating indigenous novel bio-technologies

Bhubneshwar based startup, ProCyto Labs aims to bloom into a pioneering life-sciences company with its biotech and healthtech product offerings

Protein expression and purification techniques are often exhaustive, time-consuming and could be challenging to standardize. To make things simpler, the Odisha based biotech startup, ProCyto Labs is developing products that can provide cost-effective and high-quality purified proteins to researchers. Not just this, the company’s R&D team is also making rapid strides towards its mission to accelerate antimicrobial research besides developing few highly innovative healthcare technologies.
Tough journey yet high spirits
Founded in 2018,  ProCyto Labs is currently incubated at the KIIT-Technology Business Incubator in KIIT University, Campus in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Explaining her initial journey, Dr Neera Singh, Founder and Director, ProCyto Labs,  cites the constraints she had to face when she decided to take the plunge: “For the first year of founding the company, I could not find a lab space that was affordable. I had left my job and used to attend each and every business event for meetings. During this time, I used to get anxious about its success as I would never understand the business terms and language. The moment we incubated and started our operations, Covid started to hit the world and when we received our first funding of Rs 15 lakhs from Startup Odisha, lockdown was announced in March 2020.”
“There are people who appreciated our initiative to set up a biotech company in Odisha. At the same time, some people have always been very critical of our ideas, suggesting us that we are a small company and it would be difficult to find buyers for our products and for quick revenue, we must make products for bigger companies. But we are determined to create our own and brand,” adds Dr Neera who feels that the funding process; business mentoring and scale up; and revenue generation within the bioscience sector is slow.
Multiple areas of focus
ProCyto Labs is making molecular biology products for research use and has around 20 products ready in the market. These include Plasmid Isolation Kit, DNA Clean Up Kit, Gel Extraction Kit, Red Taq Master Mix (2X), Taq Master Mix (2X), Taq DNA Polymerase, 50 bp DNA Ladder, 100 bp DNA Ladder, 1 kb DNA Ladder among others. The company also manufactures molecular biology teaching kits to educate life science students to perform hands-on experiments. These include PCR Agarose Gel Electrophoresis, SDS-PAGE Restriction, and Digestion DNA Ligation. The company is also working on making major bacterial cell division protein available to cell division laboratories.
ProCyto Labs’ healthcare innovations are in the validation stage. It is providing novel solutions on early diagnosis of sepsis, early diagnosis of autism and a novel eye gel for prevention of eye allergies and dry eyes.

“I believe biotechnology has immense potential to innovation solutions to local and global healthcare problems.”
Dr Neera Singh, Founder and Director, ProCyto Labs


The company has patented a novel eye formulation for prevention of chronic allergic conjunctivitis which is ready for human trials. Explaining the motivation behind it, Dr Neera says: “My daughter has been suffering from chronic VKC for last 6 to 7 years and current eye drops were not effective. That is when this idea of preventing allergen from entering the eye was conceived. I got the support from the treating doctor and with this support we received a BIG funding of Rs 50 lakhs from BIRAC, Government of India.”
The company is developing a Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification based diagnostic kit for the early detection of neonatal sepsis. It continues to work on couple of more healthcare innovations in artificial intelligence and diagnostics.
Way forward  
While it largely a boot strap company, ProCyto Labs has received funding support from Startup Odisha and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) The company now plans to raise funds for creating our own facility for scale up and R&D.
The aspirations of founding team at ProCyto Labs are very high. In the next 5 years, the company is aiming to move out of an incubator to its own world class biotech facility with a size of 30 to 35 employee company.
“The market for life science and healthcare is undoubtedly huge. However, it is very early for me to give any definite projections, it all project and product specific. The projected revenue in next 2 years is Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore,” says Dr Neera.
The company aims to launch its eye drop and LAMP based kits in the market and have at least 50 high end molecular biology products ready, thus becoming a pioneer life sciences company under ‘Make in India’ initiative’.
“As a scientist, I am passionate about science and translating it into clinics. I believe biotechnology has immense potential to innovation solutions to local and global healthcare problems,” signs off Dr Neera.

*The story was first published in the June 2023 issue of BioVoice eMagazine.