LifeCell raises ₹255 crore from OrbiMed, founders

LifeCell International, one of India’s leading stem cell banks and reproductive diagnostic solutions provider, on Tuesday, announced a successful fundraise of ₹225 crore from OrbiMed Asia Partners IV, a leading healthcare investment firm. The funding round will also see an investment of ₹30 crore from LifeCell’s existing founders.

“We are pleased to announce that we have raised ₹225 crore OrbiMed Asia to support our growth initiatives through primary infusion into the company. The founders have also invested ₹30 crore taking the total fundraising to ₹255 crore. The company is also debt free and has positive operating cash flow which will also help in its own strength to support the growth,” Mayur Abhaya, Managing Director, LifeCell International said in a virtual press conference.

Minority stake

As part of the equity infusion, OrbiMed will take a significant minority stake in LifeCell and OrbiMed Asia’s senior Managing Director Sunny Sharma will join the board of LifeCell upon the closure of this transaction.

Established in 2004 in Chennai, LifeCell provides human cell, gene, and tissue-based products and services for preventive and therapeutic purposes. The company closed the previous year with a revenue of ₹234 crore. Currently, the stem cell banking division is the largest contributor of total revenue, accounting for 55 per cent followed by diagnostics business (over 40 per cent) and the more recent biologics division (about 2 per cent).

“Apart from the stem cell banking, the biologics division will be a significant addition to our revenue portfolio, and we expect that to grow in high triple digits in next 3-4 years,” Abhaya said, adding, “Our diagnostic division has been growing over 50 per cent for the last five years and we expect to maintain a similar momentum.”

Fund deployment

LifeCell will use the proceeds to support its growth plans across all the three divisions. Under the stem cell banking division, it will foray into reproductive tissues such as preservation of eggs and sperms for both personal use and sperm donation. In diagnostics division, it will add more labs and expand its services offerings to include more genetic and genomic tests. LifeCell will also invest into transplant biologics.

Under the biologics division, LifeCell currently offers placental tissue-based products which are used in advanced wound healing. It recently got Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approval for clinical trials of Mesocel-based therapy to treat patients suffering from life-threatening Covid-19 pneumonia and acute respiratory distress.

Ishaan Khanna, CEO, LifeCell International said the company has witnessed a significant digital adoption among its customers with over 35 per cent of the firm’s total sales coming from tele/digital sales approach.

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