SG-based AUM Biosciences raises $1.5m in seed funding to develop affordable oncology drugs

Medical drugs in a pharmacy. Credit: Flickr/epSos .de

Singapore-based oncology startup AUM Biosciences has raised $1.5 million (S$2.04 million) in seed funding to develop affordable oncology medicines in Asia. The announcement was made in June this year.

It did not reveal the names of the participating investors or any other financial details.

According to an official statement, AUM Biosciences will identify and license new drugs from phase 1 to proof of concept using biomarker-driven strategies and a digital medicine approach.

The company recently acquired its first anti-cancer drug, ETC-206 from A*STAR’s Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC). The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore’s lead public sector agency that spearheads economic oriented research to advance scientific discovery and develop innovative technology.

By 2019, AUM Biosciences will build a pipeline of three small molecule oncology assets to treat a broad range of Asia-prevalent tumour types. This includes hepatocellular carcinoma, head and neck cancer, gastric cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, triple negative breast cancer, as well as prostate and colorectal cancer.

Vishal Doshi, Founder and CEO of AUM, said: “While Asian biotechnology landscape has improved, western drug development still remains the focus for the majority. In 2017, 55 oncology drugs were approved globally but fewer than 20 per cent of these medicines are available in emerging markets, specifically Asia. AUM is focused on addressing the significant unmet need in cancer treatment in Asia, and we differentiate ourselves by taking cutting edge research and science, adopting value-based innovation models and make it commercially viable – benefitting patients, payers and physicians in Asia and around the world.”

About 60 per cent of cancers worldwide today are diagnosed in Asia. By 2030, projections show there will be 10.6 million new cases in the region.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.