Updated on 2 March 2017
Singapore: ASLAN Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company focused on the development of immunotherapies and targeted agents for Asia prevalent tumour types, has formed a research and development collaboration with the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI) and National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) to investigate the potential of ASLAN003 as a monotherapy and in combination with other targeted agents for haematologic cancers, and rapidly advance the compound into oncology clinical trials.
The collaboration with CSI and NCIS will be led by Director of NCIS and Deputy Director of CSI, Professor Chng Wee Joo, whose work is primarily focused on identifying potential therapeutic strategies for haematological malignancies such as leukaemia.
ASLAN003 is a best-in-class, small molecule inhibitor of DiHydroOrotate DeHydrogenase (DHODH), an enzyme which catalyses the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of pyrimidines in mammalian cells. ASLAN003 is being developed for several oncology indications. The compound has completed the phase 1 trial and has been shown to have favourable pharmacokinetics and tolerability. According to a published article in Cell, DHODH has been identified as a therapeutic target for acute myeloid leukaemia1.
Commenting on the collaboration, Dr Mark McHale, Chief Operating Officer of ASLAN Pharmaceuticals, said, "Professor Chng and his team of clinical investigators have extensive experience in conducting world-class, cutting edge research in targeted agents for a disease area where advanced treatment is lagging. The collaboration with research institutes such as CSI and NCIS will enable ASLAN to accelerate the development of a best-in-class drug for a tumour type that is known to be one of the top ten cancers in Asia."