Indonesia: Nusantics, an Indonesian genomics technology startup, announced today it has raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding, led by East Ventures.
The money will be used to further enhance its R&D capability to improve its microbiome analysis and medical diagnostic kits.
Additionally, Nusantics has roped in Triawan Munaf, a Venture Advisor at East Ventures, as its Commissioner. A former Indonesian cabinet member under President Jokowi, Munaf is currently President Commissioner of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.
Nusantics was started in 2019 with the ever-growing belief in the importance of microbiome balance in life, which is focused on providing sustainable solutions by integrating science and nature.
Despite its core focus on microbiome research, the biotech startup repurposed its capability to develop COVID-19 test kits that can detect mutations of the coronavirus, including the recent UK strain.
The firm said it has partnered with state-owned biotech firm Bio Farma to produce up to three million test kits per month. First-generation test kits were also distributed to 19 provinces across Indonesia as part of the Pasti Bisa movement, a collaborative effort by East Ventures to stem the rise of the virus-19 cases in Indonesia.
Plans are underway to develop a third-generation test kit that can detect the coronavirus through salivary samples.
“We plan to develop a new test kit that can detect the COVID-19 virus in a salivary sample. This will be more efficient, less painful for users, and safer for medical practitioners. Saliva will also make infectious and less-infectious detection possible,” shared Revata Utama, CTO of Nusantics.