Dr. Jugnu Jain

Dr. Jugnu Jain

Co-Founder and CEO
Sapien Biosciences

Dr. Jain is a cell and molecular biologist with more than 30 years experience in life sciences and healthcare industry. She did her PhD in Genetics from Trinity College of Cambridge University, UK, on the coveted Nehru Trust for Cambridge University scholarship. Dr. Jain also received the Overseas Research Bursary and a Trinity scholarship during her PhD. Dr. Jain went to Boston, USA for her postdoc at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. She has published many high-profile papers in journals such as Nature and Science. She received fellowships from the Lady Tata Memorial Trust and Leukemia Society of America during her postdoc.

In 1996, Dr. Jain joined the iconic structure-based drug discovery company Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, USA. During her 14 productive years at Vertex, she handled drug discovery and target validation projects across therapeutic areas including inflammation, cancer, diabetes and neurobiology. She held prominent leadership roles and was the head of Vertex’s global team on multiple sclerosis. She forged several alliances with academia, industry, non-profit organizations and built cross-functional teams that successfully advanced several drug candidates into clinical trials.

In 2011, Dr. Jain returned to India to devote her experience and skills to co-found Sapien Biosciences, India’s first pan-India sustainable biobank. Sapien was launched in 2012 as a joint venture with pan-India Apollo Hospitals. Sapien is headquartered in Hyderabad with sample & data collection from Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.  It is India’s largest biorepository that integrates and curates ethically obtained ~250,000 human samples with associated medical, pathological, diagnostic, treatment and outcomes data structured by Sapien.  The patient samples and data are used for optimizing treatment for future patients by helping the discovery and validation of new diagnostics, drugs and drug targets, towards better personalized treatment paradigms. Two diagnostics, myPLATELET and canAssist-Breast, have been launched using Sapien’s patient samples and data. A whole slide images library is being created to facilitate use of ML & AI in cancer to develop digital pathology-based prognostic algorithms.

Dr. Jain is passionate about the growth of a life sciences and biotech entrepreneurial ecosystem at Hyderabad, to nurture innovation and build synergies that can efficiently utilize limited resources such as space and equipment. She has been an invited speaker at many industry and academic institutions on biobanking, entrepreneurship, fostering leadership for women in technology, gender equity etc. She has been interviewed by social media e.g., Biospectrum, Economic Times- Health, India Today, Times of India, YourStory. In 2019, Dr. Jain was among the 3 people selected by the Global Entrepreneurs Summit to represent India in Health at the Hague, Netherlands. In 2020, Dr. Jain was awarded the distinguished “Women Transforming India” prize by Niti Aayog of India. In 2020, Dr. Jain won the TiE-Hyderabad competition for women entrepreneurs in Telangana & AP and in 2021, the TiE50 entrepreneur award from Tie-Silicon Valley.