AUM Biosciences Licenses Cancer Drug From A*STAR

The drug, ETC-206, was shown to be well tolerated in human trials and specifically targets cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.

AsianScientist (Dec. 19, 2018) – AUM Biosciences, a biotechnology firm headquartered in Singapore, has licensed global rights to develop, commercialize and manufacture the selective anticancer drug ETC-206 from the Experimental Therapeutics Center of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore.

Cancer is a major cause of mortality in Asia, affecting an estimated 17.4 million people in 2018, with approximately 8.8 million new cases reported each year. There is thus an urgent need for novel anticancer treatments that specifically destroy cancer cells.

ETC-206 was discovered and developed by A*STAR scientists in collaboration with the Duke-National University of Singapore. It advanced to first-in-man trials in December 2016, and initial results showed that the drug was well tolerated when used to treat patients with a range of liquid and solid tumors.

Unlike conventional chemotherapy drugs which exhibit some degree of toxicity to normal cells, ETC-206 targets Mnk, a key enzyme in cancer cells that drives growth and proliferation when activated. The novel compound could lower mortality rates for cancer and improve the quality of life of cancer patients. ETC-206 is the first in AUM’s pipeline of novel targeted therapies with the potential to be developed either as a standalone treatment or in combination with other therapies.

“Due to low efficacy and steep costs associated with many cancer treatments, the demand for more precise anticancer treatments has become imperative,” said Mr. Vishal Doshi, CEO of AUM. “AUM’s small molecule and biomarker-driven approach allows us to implement innovative trial designs enabling ‘multiple shots on goal’ in cancer treatment.”

Doshi added that the company is now speaking with investors to accelerate the development of ETC-206 and implement its broader molecule acquisition roadmap. AUM will fund further clinical development and will be responsible for regulatory filings for ETC-206 and other future drugs, he said.


Source: AUM Biosciences; Photo: Shutterstock.
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