Albatroz Therapeutics Secures $3 Million to Develop First-Ever Therapy Blocking a Universal Process Involved in the Growth and Spread of Cancerous Solid Tumors and Arthritic Cartilage Degradation

Albatroz Therapeutics, a biotechnology company targeting tissue remodeling to stop cancer growth and treat arthritis, today announced it has secured $3 million USD in funding led by Outram Bio and SEEDS Capital to accelerate the development of therapeutic antibodies against a novel target that degrades the extracellular matrix, a key contributor to cancer and arthritis. The company also received the first Golden Ticket prize from Amgen in Singapore, recognizing the viability of its science and business plan.

“The first-in-class agents Albatroz developed have enormous potential to improve our ability to treat patients with cancer,” said David Virshup, Director of the Programme in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology (CSCB) and Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School.

Cancer that has metastasized, spreading to other parts of the body, is notoriously difficult to treat and accounts for most cancer deaths. Albatroz has secured exclusive rights on a highly specific and novel target that blocks tumor growth and recurrence, including a range of therapeutic antibodies that inhibit this target.

“Degradation of the extracellular matrix is a critical component of both tumor growth and arthritis, however candidate drugs against this process have been limited in their use due to toxicity profiles,” said Dr. Fred Bard, CEO and Scientific Co-Founder of Albatroz. “We are thrilled with the industry support that is allowing us to accelerate development of Albatroz’s novel therapeutic antibodies in order to move toward the clinic. We look forward to collaborating with pharmaceutical and biotech innovators in order to maximize the impact of this science.”

While at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore, Dr. Bard published prominently on a pathway that controls protein glycosylation and drives extracellular matrix degradation. The study of the GalNAc-T Activation (GALA) glycosylation pathway led to the discovery of a new target, which becomes exposed at the cell surface after glycosylation. Activation of the target occurs specifically in tumors and arthritic synovial membranes, connective tissue that lines the joint capsule. Albatroz’s targeted antibodies have high specificity for this target selectively reducing extracellular matrix degradation while minimizing toxicity.

“Albatroz is building on careful, fundamental research comparing normal and cancer tissues, which led to the exciting discovery of a novel and broadly distributed target present on the surface of diverse solid tumors,” said David Virshup, Director of the Programme in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology (CSCB) and Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School. “The therapeutic antibodies that Albatroz has developed may prevent the growth and metastasis of these cancers. These first-in-class agents have enormous potential to improve our ability to treat patients with cancer.”

A Recognized Leader in the Singapore Biotech Community

Albatroz also announced it is the first Amgen “Golden Ticket” recipient in Singapore. A scientific committee at Amgen evaluated the strength and novelty of the scientific rationale, subject matter expertise of the leadership and business plan viability of the company and awarded Albatroz access to a fully-equipped, turnkey, and certified BSL-2 laboratory from NSG Biolabs.

“Amgen’s sponsorship of the Golden Ticket award with NSG Biolabs captures what it means to support early-stage startups in their acceleration of bioscience innovation while contributing towards Singapore’s growing biotech ecosystem. Having evaluated many strong entries from a diversity of startups, we are enthusiastic about the cancer therapy and anti-arthritic platform being developed by Albatroz Therapeutics and their continued progress in advancing novel therapies to improve the lives of patients with serious diseases. Congratulations to Albatroz Therapeutics,” said Alan Russell, Ph.D., Vice President of Biologic Therapeutic Discovery at Amgen.

“Albatroz Therapeutics is an exciting example of the burgeoning biotech industry in Singapore– Southeast Asia’s largest biotech hub, and one that boasts cutting-edge research and attracts leading scientists from around the world,” said Christopher Tan, Partner at Outram Bio, who has been appointed to Albatroz’s Board of Directors. “The company has a comprehensive IP portfolio around the use of the target signaling pathway to discover and develop therapeutic antibodies, based on research th

at has been developed over the last decade, and fills a critical gap for patients suffering from arthritis and specific types of cancer that have been historically difficult to treat.”


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