The Asian Fund for Cancer Research (AFCR) is delighted to announce that Degron Therapeutics has been selected as the winner of the BRACE Award Venture Competition 2023.
The AFCR’s BRACE (Bridging Research from Academia to Cancer Entrepreneurship) Award Venture Competition aims to support and accelerate innovations in oncology by providing resources for commercialization, ultimately improving outcomes for cancer patients worldwide. The AFCR aims to support the winners of the BRACE Award with funding, expert guidance, and access to its global network of key opinion leaders in cancer research.
The winner of the BRACE Award Venture Competition must pass the rigorous three-stage evaluation process conducted by the Blue-Ribbon Committees of the BRACE program: Selection, Assessment, and Investment.
Headquartered in Shanghai with labs in the USA and China, Degron Therapeutics is a leading developer of a novel class of small molecule drugs based on its targeted protein degradation platform.
Degron Therapeutics is at the forefront of discovering and developing a new class of small molecule drugs known as molecular glue degraders. Through its proprietary GlueXplorer platform, Degron Therapeutics has compiled a unique and growing library of molecular adhesive compounds, enabling the targeting of previously untreatable targets. This platform utilizes phenotypic screening, proteomic screening, and artificial intelligence (AI) to predict new targets and accelerate drug discovery. Degron Therapeutics has rapidly expanded its proprietary chemical glue library, identifying a growing list of potentially degradable disease targets. This includes a novel degrader of a previously „untreatable“ RNA-binding protein that regulates cancer survival and metastasis, showing impressive efficacy, selectivity, and preliminary pharmacokinetics.
The BRACE Award Venture Competition committees recognize that Degron Therapeutic’s novel technology has promising positive impacts on patients, as evidenced by a HK$2,300,000 investment in the upcoming Series A+ financing round of Degron Therapeutics.
Novel approaches to inactivating critical proteins that are essential for tumor maintenance are highly welcome. The committee was impressed by the GlueXplorer platform, which could potentially play a crucial role in identifying novel cancer targets previously not amenable to treatment.“
Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D., Co-Chair of the Selection and Assessment Committee of the BRACE Award Venture Competition
„We are very excited to be honored with the prestigious title of the winner of the BRACE Award Venture Competition 2023 and express our deep gratitude for the support from AFCR. The invaluable connections made with experienced advisors are of great benefit to us,“ said Dr. Lily Zou, Co-founder and CEO of Degron Therapeutics. „We are thrilled about the recognition and credibility this award brings, and look forward to collaborating with AFCR in our endeavor to redefine cancer treatment not only in Asia but globally.“
„As we enter the 4th year since the inception of the BRACE Award Venture Competition, we are proud to be recognized as a valuable source of impact investment for early-stage oncology companies,“ stated Sujuan Ba, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Asian Fund for Cancer Research. „The competition continues to promote and accelerate the development of innovative concepts from bench to bedside for cancer patients in Asia and the rest of the world.“
About the BRACE Award Venture Competition
The Bridging Research from Academia to Cancer Entrepreneurship (BRACE) Award program aims to provide crucial support to young biotech companies, enabling them to bring their innovative therapy, diagnostic, and cancer prevention products to the clinic faster, ultimately improving outcomes for cancer patients worldwide. BRACE Award Venture Competitions offer startup companies investment capital, prize money, opportunities for visibility, and improved access to a network of leading companies and researchers in the cancer industry regionally and globally. Three committees (Selection, Pitch Judging and Investment), whose members are top opinion leaders, life science industry experts, investors, and entrepreneurs, provide evaluations and recommendations for AFCR investment. The 2023 committee members include:
- Anna D. Barker, Ph.D., Chief Strategy Officer, Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine
- Webster K. Cavenee, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of California San Diego
(Other committee members)
Asiatischer Fonds für Krebsforschung (AFCR)