ASLAN Pharma in licensing pact with A*STAR

Closely-held ASLAN Pharmaceuticals has licensed a novel immuno-oncology antibody, targeting RON (Recepteur d’Origine Nantais), from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

RON is a receptor tyrosine kinase, and an overexpression of RON leads to increased tumor metastasis. As a result, RON activation in tumour cells promotes aggressive disease. 

The RON antibody licensed by ASLAN was developed by A*STAR’s p53 Laboratory and is currently in preclinical development. The antibody has demonstrated preclinical efficacy in a range of in vivo models of human cancer. 

Under the accord, ASLAN will gain global rights to develop the RON antibody and intends to commence clinical studies in 2018. ASLAN and A*STAR also have also entered into a three-year research collaboration.

Over the last five years, ASLAN has been collaborating with international experts in the research of RON biology and this partnership with A*STAR will further consolidate ASLAN’s clinical development skills and expertise in immunotherapies.

In a statement, Dr. Mark McHale, COO of ASLAN, said the agreement enables the company to leverage its capabilities in the development of biologics and building a sustainable pipeline of proprietary therapeutics. “As a leading Singapore biotech, we are excited to advance a Singapore-discovered technology with the potential to change the treatment paradigm of Asia prevalent cancers.”