Fuzzy Pet Health Secures $4.5M Led by Eniac Ventures

Fuzzy Pet Health, a subscription-based pet healthcare company, announced the close of $4.5M in seed round financing along with the launch of its mobile app and expanded in-home vet care options. Co-led by Eniac Ventures and Crosscut Ventures, the financing will enable the company to continue expanding its veterinary services and geographic markets, keeping up with growing customer demand. “As self-proclaimed dog lovers, Eniac is excited to support Fuzzy’s quest to improve the pet health ecosystem. Proprietary software and a unique business model enables Fuzzy to deliver affordable and comprehensive care at scale,” said Indian American Nihal Mehta, founding general partner, Eniac Ventures. “The company’s rapid growth in the Bay Area alone is reflective that pet owners are looking for more advanced, personalized care.” Fuzzy’s membership model enables vets to engage pet parents much more frequently and personally when compared to care delivered in a traditional clinic. The company’s all-inclusive memberships cover in-home checkups, medications, vaccines and telemedicine, making Fuzzy the pet parents’ go-to source for veterinary care. Fuzzy is available in the San Francisco Bay Area, with plans to expand to additional cities in the U.S. in 2018.

Israeli Startup Bringing India’s Small Businesses Online

Launched by Silicon Valley’s Singularity University alumni Asaf Kindler, Vito Margiotta, Gabriel Gurovich, and Alberto Iore, Seemba is a mobile phone-based platform that helps businesses build their websites. The company has been operating in India since May 2017, focusing on giving the country’s estimated 51 million kirana stores an online identity through a website, according to a Quartz report. Some 50,000 merchants have already installed the app on their phones. Of these, Seemba says, 70 percent weren’t even on Google Maps or Facebook, let alone having their own website, the report said. Much of Seemba’s expansion in India has come on the back of its partnership with the Maharashtra government for the Bring Maharashtra Online program. To help local businesses migrate towards a digital and cashless future, it has roped in over 1,000 college students in Pune to go knocking door-to-door and give small-business owners a crash course in using Seemba, the report said. Of emerging economies, Kindler said “India led on all fronts." The next billion users in the country are leapfrogging desktops and coming online using mobile phones, it said. The government’s digital push is also helping startups “move much faster (to reach) the market,” Kindler added in the report.

Jnana Therapeutics Closes $50M Series A Round

Jnana Therapeutics Inc. announced a $50 million Series A financing round. The company is building a drug discovery platform dedicated to targeting the solute carrier family of transporters, the cell’s metabolic gates. Jnana’s proprietary small molecule platform allows the company to address therapeutic targets rapidly and comprehensively across the SLC transporter family. “(Solute carrier) transporters provide cells with knowledge about their environment. These proteins are amongst the oldest in biology, and afford avenues to address virtually all major diseases. After 50 years of drug development, only a handful of SLCs have been harnessed to treat disease, leaving over 400 members unstudied. Our proprietary chemistry and biology platform allows us to systematically advance medicines based on the biology of these ancient information gathering systems,” said Amir Nashat, CEO of Jnana. Jnana is focusing on immunometabolism, lysosomal function and mucosal defense, important disease pathways where SLC transporters provide novel targets for immuno-oncology, inflammatory disorders and neurological diseases.

Dr. Reddy's to Pay $5M Settlement

India-based Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. announced that its U.S. subsidiary has agreed to pay $5 million in a settlement with the U.S. government, in a case that is more than six years old, involving packaging for five blister-packed prescription products. In a joint filing by the parties, Dr. Reddy's and the Department of Justice agreed to the settlement of the action without any adjudication of any issue of fact or law. Dr. Reddy's said it is not aware of any reports that any child gained access to these products as a result of the packaging or that any of the products caused children harm as a result of the packaging. These products have not been distributed in the packaging at issue since June 2012.

Mitra Biotech Received Innovation Gallery Award

Mitra Biotech, a global leader in advancing the personalization of cancer treatment, has received the "Innovation Gallery Award" at the 2017 CPhI & P-MEC event in Mumbai. Mitra was given the award for its CANscript platform, which recreates a patient's own tumor microenvironment in vitro, measures multiple parameters to determine whether a tumor is responding to physician-selected treatments and then converts these parameters into a single score that predicts clinical response to each of the physician-selected therapies. "We're proud that our peers see the promise and potential in a technology such as CANscript," said Mallik Sundaram, Mitra CEO and co-founder. "Whether used in the clinic or for research, we look forward to the prospect of having such a positive impact on eventual patient outcomes." CANscript can help patients avoid ineffective treatments and the associated cost, lost time and potential toxicity. It has been validated using thousands of cancer cases, with a published 90 percent overall correlation between the platform's treatment predictions and actual clinical outcomes.

Dr. Swami Legacy Preserved in Scholarship

Former West Virginia University civil engineering professor Dr. Shanmugam Armugam Swami's legacy at the institution has been honored in the form of a newly established scholarship. Valued at more than $85,000, the scholarship will continue Swami’s legacy of helping promising students earn a degree in civil engineering. Govindappa Puttaiah, former chair of the WVU Tech mechanical engineering department, was a professor at WVU Tech for nearly five decades until his retirement last year. He worked alongside Swami, developing a relationship with the professor and his family that lasted decades. After Swami's wife, Anusuya’s passing, he became executor of the Swami estate. "In her will, she indicated that the school would establish a scholarship fund in Swami’s name. It's a yearly scholarship designated for needy but qualified students."

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