Nusantics has just announced that it has secured a series A funding round. Nusantics mentioned no amount, but the company mentioned that the funding round was led by Indonesian early-stage venture capitalist firm East Ventures. This isn’t the first time East Ventures has backed the Indonesian startup. In March 2020, Nusantics received a $700,000 Seed investment from the Indonesian early-stage VC firm. 

Nusantics is planning to use the fund to continue expanding its research and development in the field of genomes of different microorganisms. Aside from microbiome analysis, Nusantics also plans to delve into research and production geared towards medical diagnostic kits, specifically Covid-19.  

Further research into medical diagnostic kits was prompted by its success and track record for creating Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. The company was able to produce two different test kits. The first test kit had high specificity and sensitivity rates for the virus. It was also able to detect any possible mutation or variant of the virus. This included the recent mutant strain that was found in the UK.

The more recently-developed test kit concentrated on working cutting the processing time to produce results faster. Together with Indonesia’s Bio Farma, Nusantics claims that this test kit can produce results 3x faster without compromising specificity and sensitivity rates. 

Bio Farma took care of the business side of making these test kits ready for commerce, having produced both generations of the test kits from Nusantics. Bio Farma initially started with a capacity of 1.5 million kits per month. Currently, Bio Farma has ramped up production capacity to 3 million kits per month. 

The next test kit that Nusantics plans to develop aims to change the method of testing. Instead of the current nasopharyngeal swab test kits that, Nusantics CTO Revata Utama said that the company wants to develop a test kit that would detect the virus from a salivary sample. This will make the swabbing process easier, safer, and more efficient for healthcare workers. It will also make the procedure a lot less painful for the recipient. Aside from innovating the process by changing the sample source, Nusantics is also making sure that the kits will be compatible with PCR processing machines currently being used in Indonesia. 

Since being founded in 2019, Nusantics has adapted well to suit the market’s needs and use their existing research and facilities to leverage innovative products that are of great use today. Since finishing their seed fund round last year, the company has opened its Jakarta hub specialising in consultation and testing services for skin microbiome balance treatment. 

Co-Founder Triawan Munaf said: “Indonesia’s rich biodiversity makes it the ‘world’s pharmacy’. We must protect the future of our future generations by preserving this biodiverse wealth and preventing exploitation for other interests that do not benefit us as a nation. This underlines the urgency to support the growth of startups like Nusantics, who possess expertise in this preservation.

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