Daejeon, South Korea, June 14, 2017 – Orum Therapeutics announced today the completion of an $8 million Series A financing with InterVest, KB Investment (KBIC)/Solidus Investment, and LB Investment. The proceeds of the funds will be used to advance Orum’s cell-penetrating antibody technology to create novel therapeutics. In addition, Yeo Jung Moon, M.D, Ph.D., Investment Division Director at Intervest, will join Orum’s board of directors.
“We were impressed with Orum’s cell-penetrating antibody platform, which can transform antibodies to effectively target undruggable cytosolic targets, without chemical conjugation and with target cell specificity,” said Dr. Moon. “We look forward to providing our expertise and guidance as the company creates new treatments for cancer and rare diseases.”
“We are honored to work with leading Korean venture capital firms, who have the experience in early-stage biotechnology companies,” Sung Joo Lee, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of Orum Therapeutics. “The financing will support our first program in oncology targeting activated RAS protein, a highly-validated cancer drug target involved in aggressive cancers.”
RAS proteins function to transmit signals within cells that control cell growth, differentiation and survival. Mutations found in human cancers result in RAS being constitutively activated. Although the pivotal role of RAS mutants in cancer initiation and progression was discovered nearly 35 years ago, previous efforts to develop agents directly targeting activated RAS have been plagued with the undruggable properties of RAS mutants.
Scientists from Ajou University and Orum Therapeutics recently published a paper in Nature Communications describing the preclinical characterization of a cytosol-penetrating and then Ras targeting antibody designed with Orum’s technology. The data showed that systemic administration of the antibody could selectively inhibit activated RAS to achieve anti-tumor activity for human colorectal and fibrosarcoma xenograft tumors in mice.
“The recent publication supported the further development of our cell-penetrating antibodies as an anti-cancer agent," said Sung Joo Lee, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of Orum Therapeutics. “We believe our technology has the capacity to create the first-in-class RAS-targeted therapeutic antibody for pancreatic, colon and non-small cell lung cancers with RAS mutations.”
Founded in 1999, InterVest Co., Ltd. is a venture capital firm specializing in startups and early stage businesses and provide pre-initial public offering financing through mezzanine and bridge transactions. It typically invests in biotechnology, healthcare, semiconductor, display, metal and non-metal, energy, machinery, nanotechnology, telecommunications equipment and services, wireless communication terminal-related hardware, computer, software and applications and digital content sectors in Korea.
About KB Investment
Founded in 1990, KB Investment Co., Ltd. (KBIC) is one of Korea’s leading investment firms of venture capital and private equity funds with over USD$1.4 billion of asset under management as of December 2013. KBIC is a subsidiary of KB Financial Group, Korea’s premier financial group with the largest domestic customer base as well as the widest network of service branches in Korea. For more information: http://www.kbic.co.kr/eng/about/summary.asp.
About Solidus Investment
Founded in 2011 by CHA Medical Center Group, Solidus Investment Co., Ltd is a venture capital firm focused on discovering and investing in companies with growth potential in green energy, IT, and biotechnology, including agricultural and marine products. For more information: http://www.solidusvc.com/eng/.
About LB Investment
Founded in 1996, LB Investment is a venture capital firm that is known as one the best and most active fund managers in Korea. The company has repeatedly received the A+ grade since the Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) started VC evaluation. LB opened its Shanghai office in 2007 and has expanded its investment area into growth equity since the implementation of capital market act. LB Investment makes trendsetting investments in high-growth industries and technologies and provides proactive post-investment management with value-addition by utilizing extensive proprietary networks in Korea and China. For more information, http://lbinvestment.com/english/.
About Orum Therapeutics, Inc.
Orum Therapeutics is a private biotech company developing a new class of therapeutic antibodies to bring new medicines to patients with unmet medical needs. Orum leverages its unique cell penetrating antibody platform to inhibit drug targets undruggable by small molecule or current antibody therapeutics. In contrast to other approaches, Orum’s antibody platform can target specific cell types, is easily adaptable to target different cell types and different intracellular proteins, and does not require chemical modification. This provides new opportunities to treat severe genetic diseases and cancer.