ASLAN widens effort on first mAb candidate with Selexis pact

Fresh off a fundraising round that sets up a likely initial public offering in Taiwan, Singapore's ASLAN Pharmaceutical has moved to bring along its first mAb candidate, ASLAN004, by working with Selexis of Switzerland to develop a CHO-K1 cell line.

In a release, ASLAN said Selixis has been asked to use its proprietary platform to develop a final clonal cell line expressing ASLAN004, a fully human monoclonal antibody against interleukin-13 receptor α1 that has been shown to block binding and signal transduction of both IL4 and IL13, and which was licensed from CSL.

Financial terms were not disclosed. ASLAN, in the release, said the candidate is under review for a range of allergic disorders and oncology indications as both monotherapy and in immunotherapy combinations.

“We believe our SUREtechnology Platform will yield a cell line that will help to advance ASLAN’s clinical candidate towards the company’s goal of transforming treatments for cancers that are prevalent in Asia,” Marco Bocci, vice president at Selexis, said in the release.

Earlier this month, ASLAN raised $23 million from existing and new investors as it gears up for the expected Taipei listing and brings along candidates such as ASLAN001, which in June won a U.S. FDA orphan designation for a second indication in gastric cancer.

That designation followed one in August of last year for cholangiocarcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of bile duct cancer.

ASLAN has also been busy on the dealmaking front this year, opening an office in Shanghai, working with Taiwan's ACT Genomics and inking a pact with South Korea's Hyundai Pharmaceutical for the first co-development agreement on ASLAN001.

Also in development is gastric cancer candidate ASLAN002 through Phase I, which was licensed from Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), with plans to head to Phase II. As well, candidate ASLAN003, a DHODH inhibitor licensed from Almirall, is currently in Phase I trials for rheumatoid arthritis

- here's the release

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