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.