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About this entry
Vitas Pharma is a drug discovery and development company based in the Technology Business Incubator, University of Hyderabad, India and Cambridge, UK. The company’s goals are to identify and develop novel drugs for multidrug resistant infections. The portfolio consists of four programs at different stages of preclinical development.While the core focus at Vitas has been antibacterial drug discovery, the company has also put efforts into designing and evaluating companion diagnostics for its molecules. The team has identified several new technologies that can be harnessed for the rapid detection of pathogens. Further, the company has a well annotated collection of clinical isolates to enable the validation of new tests. The Vitas team is led by Dr Radha Rangarajan, CEO and co-founder of the company who has extensive research experience in industry and academia (Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Rockefeller University, and Harvard School of Public Health). Besides expertise in Infectious diseases and molecular biology, she has significant experience in project management and a track record of delivering to budgets and timelines. The other members of the team, Dr. Surobhi Lahiri and Priya Bangaru are molecular microbiologists. Dr. Surobhi Lahiri was trained at Bowling Green State University, Ohio and Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri and has played a key role in ideating and prototyping diagnostic products for the company. Priya has a Masters degree in Microbiology and has experience in the molecular characterization of resistance.The company has collaborations with academia and industry, both in India and the UK.
The Vitas Pharma test is intended for use with direct patient samples to identify the bacterial organism and resistance to last line antibiotics. The test requires minimal processing of the sample followed by a 30 minute test and visual detection.