Indication: Asia prevalent tumours
ASLAN003 is a small molecule inhibitor of DiHydroOrotate DeHydrogenase (DHODH), a key stress sensor in cells. ASLAN003 is found to be a potent inducer of p53, also referred to as the “guardian of the genome”, a gene that is responsible for tumour suppression.
ASLAN003 inhibition triggers p53 mediated apoptosis and has been shown to induce p53 in animal models.
ASLAN is collaborating with the world’s leading labs, including Karolinska Institute, National Cancer Centre Singapore, and the p53 lab which is headed by Sir David Lane, to fully characterise the mechanism and identify patients who are most likely to respond to the treatment.
Licensed from Almirall, ASLAN has global rights to ASLAN003 for all non-topical and non-dermatological indications (including oncology).
ASLAN plans to develop ASLAN003 in several oncology indications as monotherapy and in combination with other targeted agents.
DHODH is the only member of the seven enzymes involved in de novo pyrimidine synthesis pathway that is located in the inner mitochondrial membrane. DHODH converts dihydroorotate to orotate and as part of this reaction, it passes an electron to ubiquinone converting it ubiquinol, a component of the electron transport chain. Therefore, DHODH is a unique enzyme that links the manufacture nucleic acids with the manufacture of ATP. Published literature (Khutornenko et al, 2010) demonstrates that coupling these two essential cellular activities allows DHODH to act as a pivotal stress sensor that when inhibited leads to activation and accumulation of p53 which in turn triggers apoptosis of tumour cells undergoing rapid expansion and proliferation.
ASLAN has partnered with Almirall for the development of ASLAN003. Almirall is a pharmaceutical company committed to provide valuable medicines through their own R&D efforts, which exceeded 23% on sales in 2012, together with external partnerships, licenses and collaborations. Through seeking innovative medicines they aim to become a relevant player in respiratory and dermatology diseases with also a strong interest in gastroenterology and pain. With more than 3,000 employees in 22 countries, Almirall generated total revenues of 900 million in 2012. The company was founded in 1943 and is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. The stock is traded in the Spanish stock exchange (ticker: ALM).
To learn more about Almirall, please visit www.almirall.com.