Indonesia’s Health & Biotechnology Investment Opportunities
During the East Ventures Summit 2022, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Indonesian Minister of Health, was invited to become our keynote speaker, who presented his few insights on Indonesia’s Health & Biotechnology Investment Opportunities.
According to Mr. Budi, two major issues are happening in Indonesia’s healthcare sector: the first is the rising healthcare costs per capita, and the second is that most of our healthcare systems are focused on the curative side instead of the preventive side.
Hence, Mr. Budi and his team are planning on two significant reforms: Healthcare info-technology and healthcare biotechnology.
In information technology healthcare reform, the Digital Health Transformation Strategy is a framework for consolidating, digitizing, and centralizing healthcare data. The framework will support the creation of a viable platform for investor participation which will propel further development. The ministry of health will also create sandbox regulations to ensure healthcare innovations can flourish.
The second reform is healthcare biotechnology. By doing the whole human genetic information (genome) sequencing and leveraging technology, it will be possible to develop personalized, affordable, and precise medicine for society. This technology is believed to change the diagnostics, therapeutics, and roles of doctors in the future.
This was then realized by the launch of the Biomedical & Genome Science Initiative (BGSi) on August 14th, 2022, the first national initiative program created by Mr. Budi, to develop more accurate treatments for society through genome sequencing technology. East Ventures supports the launching the Eijkman Building, Dr. RSUPN. Cipto Mangunkusumo (RSCM). East Ventures supports the launch of the BGSi and believes it will be part of the new milestone for advancing Indonesia’s healthcare industry.
East Ventures recognizes that sustainable economic development requires a parallel growth in healthcare development, hence East Ventures’ investment in the healthcare sector. Nusantics and Nalagenetics are two notable cases of the health-tech companies in East Ventures’ ecosystem.
Nusantics was founded in 2019 by Indonesia’s biotech pioneers, Sharlini Eriza Putri, Vincent Kurniawan, and Revata Utama, as the first genomics tech startup in Indonesia specializing in the microbiome and microbial testing. It began introducing these genomic technologies to the beauty industry as it was a lucrative sector and ripe for disruption with science-backed products and solutions.
Nusantics is an Indonesia-based genomics technology company that aims to leverage the growing research and knowledge surrounding microbiome-based diagnostics, to be the first mover in applicable genomics testing and microbial testing. At the beginning of its journey, Nusantics repurposed its capability to innovate the first COVID-19 local test with public support through Indonesia PASTI BISA (IDPB) initiative, led by East Ventures. We raised US$ 703,262 fund for producing 100,020 test kits and financing a whole genome sequencing project.
Meanwhile, Nalagenetics was established in 2016 by a team of scientists from Indonesia and Singapore: Levana Sani, Alexander Lezhava, Astrid Irwanto, and Jianjun Liu. It successfully helped the Indonesian government to treat leprosy patients in Papua with the right prescriptions through its 1,000 genetic test kits. It was then dedicated to reducing adverse drug reactions and increasing drug efficacy through population genomics.
Aside from investing in two biotech startups, our journey in helping Indonesia’s healthcare resurgence has been laid down since the early pandemic hit Indonesia in 2020. Through IDPB, we mobilized all the strengths of East Ventures’ digital ecosystem to support the government and private sector’s efforts in mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19 in the nation. IDPB has initiated three programs: IDPB Test Kit, IDPB Safeguards PPE, and IDPB Safeguards Oxygen.
“This is something that we cannot do exclusively, but inclusively, and this is something that we need to approach as a movement. If you invest in normal startups, you are making money. But if you invest in health technology startups, you are not only making money, you are saving lives, and you are also making a tribute to humanity. So, I am waiting for all of you,” concluded Mr. Budi by citing a book by Jim Collins with the title “Good to Great”.
The full presentation and Q&A session with Budi Gunadi Sadikin are available on-demand on East Ventures’ YouTube channel. Click to watch the video below.