The Policy Times in an endeavor to shed light on the unique innovation, entrepreneurs, and start-ups of India to the forefront of global attention initiated the “Global Start-Up and Innovation Series”. In the latest session Mr. Akram Hoque, Founder-Editor of The Policy Times had an exclusive interview with Dr. Janani Venkatraman, Co-founder, and CEO of Biomoneta, and Mr. Arindam Ghatak, Co-founder and CTO of Biomoneta, rising infection prevention start-up, and how it is going to disrupt the society positively.
ZeBoxfrom Biomoneta is a cutting-edge air decontamination technology that works in the presence of humans to trap & kill microbes that cause disease and product contamination. The technology has been validated for 99.999% efficiency in 20 minutes by an ICMR/NABL/ISO-accredited laboratory, one of the few facilities in India to use airborne-pathogen testing, not just surface-based testing.
Video Link For the Interview: https://fb.watch/6aAyMK4r5Q/
Dr. Janani Venkatraman, tell a little bit about bio Moneta, and your venture and journey?
Dr.Venkatraman a biophysicist by training, Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Science, post-doctorate was in the US and then came back to Bangalore and worked with RND which is now AstraZeneca, and from here a lot of knowledge comes for discovering Bio Moneta and ze box, an infection prevention product
Mr. Arindam Ghatak studied Biophysics and microbiology, systems biology company cell works, ventured into Bio Moneta, it essentially develops technology and addresses various infection related problems that a country like India faces, and one of our flagship technologies like ZeBox which has been validated widely over a couple of years much before covid-19 pandemic broke out and we hope and expect that ZeBox will bring a lot of positive contribution to the society and health care facilities of this country
Why thought of coming up with Bio Moneta and what unique product coming up and who are the stakeholders that came up and supported you in building this innovative product?
Most of the people in Bio Moneta comes from infection drug discovery backgrounds, which effectively means the entire focus is on that many of them knew that infections can kill people and those who are resistant to the drugs, is it possible to create new medicines, that is how the product came up. But somewhere it is very important to prevent rather than curing, and when we started to explore, the doctors gave us very helpful advice telling, “before you build anything, maybe it will be helpful to come around and check how we work and then your product can definitely fit into our mode of working.
One of the first ways was to look at air, like how the germs in the air around us are reduced and hence if someone is vulnerable to this kind of germs then he/she might have less risk of death. So a lot of consultations with doctors and our team we came up with ze box.
Arindam, started by saying, “it is important to prevent people from getting infected by the virus or germs and especially in a hospital setting. While going through this project we have understood that unless and until we kill microbes continuously at the source one cannot prevent infection, especially in our country. So, with this, we conceptualized a technology that we today call “ZeBox” and our motto was very simple, i.e., we breathe air and not germs. During our interaction with doctors, the doctors said that in an ICU set-up the doctors are looking for a sterile bubble for each patient so that they do not get infected by the virus in the air which could be life-threatening and with no cure. So we thought of making a technology that will be placed beside the patient which will run continuously and help the patient not to breathe any pathogen from the environment. We figured out that most of the conventional technologies are good in two ways; first, they work brilliantly with pollutants, dust particles primarily inanimate objects, or which can work in absence of humans, because there are technologies that are hazardous to a human physiological system. So we thought of creating a technology that will not use any conventional method, which can give fresh air to breathe and alongside can be able to trap and kill and eliminate microbes from the environment.
ZeBox technology captures microbes from the air and eliminates them; it uses air as a carrier medium to pull in microbes. The air passes through an array of active surfaces. The electric field between these surfaces traps microbes, in contact with the active surfaces the microbes are killed, and clean, microbe-free air is let out and this treatment cycle continues. Zebox traps and kills over 99.999% of microbes in less than 20 minutes. It also creates a germ-free bubble within its range.
Dr. Venkatraman, what is your strategy to take this product to the national and international level and what kind of challenges and opportunities you have, and what kind of collaborators you are looking for which can take this product to the national scale? When a new technology comes in there is a trust gap, so what is your strategy in terms of convincing people?
It all starts from the fact that when you have technology like this can be used in enormous areas. Now we work with some distribution partners and some hospitals as our partners but ideally, we want to have manufacturers as our partners, distributors at a large scale as our partners. For the next few years, our absolute focus will be on some very good partnerships to bring this technology all over India. Apart from India one of the markets we are looking for in the Middle East and South East and South East Asia.
Arindam, after the Covid people are aware of cleanliness. From our experience like ZeBox has been validated by ICMR labs. ZeBox is the device of choice in NCBS/In Stem labs to provide germ-free air needed to support world-class biological research. ZeBox is used by ICU doctors and IVF labs to safeguard patients and Embryos. With all these validations and credentials we think that ZeBox should be the choice of device in any critical care.
This initiative is chaired and mentored by Dr. P. Sekhar, Chairman Unleashing India & Global Smart City Panel, and MTGF.
His observation for this new technology ZeBox seems to come at the right time, because today a lot of European companies which are coming into India, and with the type of approach and the type of promoters they have adds up to the overall success they have, and if the cost of the product matches and goes with the expectation of the consumers then it will surely rule the market nationally and globally.
Further details on the innovation can be availed from the address given below;