ASLAN Pharmaceuticals (ASLAN), a biotech company focused on the development of immunotherapies and targeted agents for Asia prevalent tumour types, has been named ‘Asian Biotech of the Year’.
The award, presented this week at the 2016 BioPharma Awards, honours ASLAN’s efforts in championing innovation in drug development.
2015 marked a year of significant progress for ASLAN in which its highly-experienced management team led the company to raise substantial financing, agree new commercial and academic partnerships and continued to advance the development of its pipeline of innovative oncology programmes.
Most significantly, in 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration granted ASLAN’s lead asset, varlitinib (ASLAN001), Orphan Drug Designation in cholangiocarcinoma. Following this, ASLAN received simultaneous approval of its Clinical Trial Applications in Singapore and Taiwan to conduct a phase 2 study to assess the efficacy of varlitinib in second-line cholangiocarcinoma.
Broadening its collaborative research efforts, ASLAN entered a collaboration and licence agreement with Hyundai Pharm Co. Ltd. Of South Korea to develop and commercialise varlitinib for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma in South Korea. In addition, the Company established a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Cancer Centre Singapore to further enhance the study of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of gastric cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (liver) and cholangiocarcinoma, and host a series of disease symposiums in Asia.
At the beginning of 2016, ASLAN closed its Series C round of financing, which raised an aggregate amount of US$43 million. It is also the first foreign biotechnology company to be awarded the Qualified Technology Enterprise (QTE), or ‘hi-tech’ status in Taiwan by the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB). The QTE is only awarded to companies with marketable products.
Carl Firth, Chief Executive Officer, ASLAN Pharmaceuticals said: “Being named ‘Asian Biotech of the Year’ recognises the immense efforts of our team over the past year. I am very pleased that this comes after a year of significant progress for ASLAN – a year that saw a strengthening of our management team, an expansion of our partnerships and great advances in the development of our oncology programmes. The growth we have seen and the confidence that has been shown in us by our partners, investors and peers by the conferment of this award, give all of us at ASLAN greater impetus for our work ahead.”
Dr. Firth was also shortlisted for the ‘Pharma Executive of the Year’ award, which acknowledges exemplary leadership and outstanding commitment to disease prevention and treatment.
Source: ASLAN Press release