11/12/2018 – AUM Biosciences, an oncology-focused biotechnology startup headquartered in Singapore has successfully raised a seed funding round worth S$2.04 million (about US$1.5 million) to develop affordable oncology medicines in Asia.
The startup did not reveal the names of the participating investors or any other financial details.
With the freshly raised capital, AUM Biosciences will identify and license new drugs from Phase 1 to proof of concept using biomarker-driven strategies and a digital medicine approach.
AUM Biosciences expects to build a pipeline of three small molecule oncology assets to treat a broad range of Asia-prevalent tumor types by 2019. This includes head and neck cancer, gastric cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, triple negative breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, as well as prostate and colorectal cancer.
Vishal Doshi, the Founder, and CEO of AUM said: “While Asian biotechnology landscape has improved, Western drug development still remains the focus for the majority.”
He cited that, while 55 oncology drugs were approved globally in 2017 but fewer than 20 percent of these medicines were available in emerging markets, specifically Asia.
To address this significant unmet need of cancer treatment in Asia, Doshi said that, “AUM differentiate ourselves by taking cutting-edge research and science, adopting value-based innovation models and make it commercially viable – benefiting patients, payers, and physicians in Asia and around the world.”
About 60 percent of cancers worldwide today are diagnosed in Asia. By 2030, projections show there will be 10.6 million new cases in the region.
In related news, AUM has recently received the license for its first new, highly selective anti-cancer drug, ETC-206 from the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR) Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC).
The drug promises a more targeted approach by inhibiting the Mnk enzyme in cancer cells, which is a key player in promoting cancer group when activated.
ETC-206 is the first in AUM’s pipeline of new targeted therapies that is expected to lower mortality rates for cancer and improve the quality of life for cancer patients. The drug’s ability to isolate and target only cancerous cells promises a breakthrough for patients compared to traditional chemotherapy.