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  • Writer's pictureVinay G V

Why we invested in D-nome

Updated: Jul 11

DNome is a biotech. start-up that develops & utilizes innovative molecular diagnostics tools to enable rapid detection of pathogen-borne diseases. DNome’s patented technology offers a substantial leap forward in the RT- PCR technology sphere, and thus promising a significant improvement in the affordability and accessibility of quality diagnostic care for rural India.

Importance of affordable diagnostic tools

Despite being home to over 70% of Indians, rural India faces a significant shortage of high-quality, affordable diagnostic services. The scarcity of well-equipped healthcare infrastructure, limited availability of skilled professionals, & socio- economic barriers present formidable hurdles in ensuring equitable access to diagnostics services.

In the realm of modern diagnostics, Real Time- Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) has emerged as a revolutionary technique with profound implications, especially popularized during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its accuracy, sensitivity, and versatility have propelled RT- PCR into the forefront of diagnostic methodologies, marking a significant shift in the way diseases are detected and managed. However, while RT-PCR is a gold standard in laboratory settings, its implementation at point-of-care (POC) locations such as clinics, remote areas, or community health centers presents numerous challenges that hinder its widespread adoption. Performing RT-PCR requires specialized equipment, reagents, and technical expertise. Conventional ​​PCR machines require stable power sources, controlled temperatures, and clean environments to function. POC settings often lack these facilities, making it challenging to maintain optimal conditions for PCR reactions.

While RT-PCR technology is predominantly utilized in the healthcare sector, its potential applications extend far & beyond, reaching into agriculture and the food industry as well. RT-PCR presents a significant potential in rapidly detecting microbial contaminants in food products, potentially curbing foodborne illnesses and reducing wastage. Moreover, its sensitivity aids in early plant pathogen detection, offering timely disease management strategies to safeguard crop yields.

DNome’s Innovation:

DNome's technology serves as an economic advancement over conventional RT- PCR technology. Unlike traditional RT-PCR, which requires controlled heating cycles for DNA/RNA amplification, DLAMP, D-NOME's technology, enables the detection of pathogens at room temperature, eliminating the need for intricate machinery and technical expertise. Presently, the average cost of an RT-PCR test in India ranges from INR 500 to INR 3000 or more, contingent on the facility, region, and urgency of the test. However, DNome's technology has the potential to reduce the cost per test to less than INR 200. Owing to the isothermal nature of their approach, these tests can be conveniently conducted at POCs or even within households through user-friendly kits. Furthermore, DNome’s technology can be universally applied for detecting any pathogenic RNA/DNA (viral/bacterial) in humans as well as livestock & plants by changing 1% of the mix in which the test is performed. Thus, the technology has the potential to address a significant portion of an in-vitro diagnostics market of USD 95 billion, livestock screening market of USD 1.8 billion and plant disease diagnostics market of USD 100 million. DNome is presently conducting several pilots with both national & industrial players to make their technology accessible across several of these industries.

DNome was co- founded in 2021 by scientists turned entrepreneurs, Divya Sriram and Sujoy Deb, with the mission to fill the gap in testing and enable rapid, accurate diagnostics at scale. Drawing from their backgrounds in cancer biology, molecular diagnostics, protein engineering, and next-gen genome sequencing, both founders pooled in their expertise to create DNome. Besides, D-Nome has participated in and won several innovative challenges, bagging distinguished awards in India as well as on international platforms such as National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition 2021, the-Syngene & Cytiva Prizes. D-nome was also the winner of the prestigious Hello Tomorrow Global Deep-Tech Challenge 2021 (for the medical and pharma category), held in Paris, France, selected from over 4000 applicants worldwide.

At 3iPartners, our focus is to support innovative technological solutions and teams that have potential to drive significant social & environmental impact at scale. DNome fits perfectly into this thesis, with their solution promising a significant improvement in the affordability and accessibility of quality diagnostic care for rural India as well as other adjacent markets. We see DNome as a beacon of promise and progress and thus supporting DNome is our effort to propel the technological revolution forward and thereby creating sustainable social impact, fostering resilient agricultural practices and minimizing food spoilage. 

We are excited to stand alongside DNome as they embark on this transformative journey towards creating sustainable social impact.

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