Stassets Investment Leads Round with Major Contribution, Joined by LSK Investment and Shinhan Capital

Investment Provides Crucial Resources for Company’s Focus on Developing Small Molecule Synthetic New Drugs in Synthetic Lethality, DNA Damage Response, and Cell Cycle Sectors

First-In-Class AD1208 Preclinical Results Announced at AACR in April

SEOUL, South Korea, May 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Avelos Therapeutics, a leading innovator in the development of novel anti-cancer drugs, recently completed a successful Series B funding round totaling KRW 17 billion (approximately $12.3 million USD) on April 30. Leading this effort was Stassets Investment, alongside new investors LSK Investment, Medytox Venture Investment, Shinhan Capital and Heungkuk Securities. Avelos’ existing funders–SV Investment, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Quad Investment Management and Timefolio Capital–also made financial contributions. This latest funding round brings Avelos’ total raised to KRW 30 billion (approximately $21.7 million USD) between seed (KRW 2 billion), Series A (KRW 10 billion), and Series B funding.

Founded on Sept. 1, 2021 by new drug development experts CEO Young Whan Park, CTO Soongyu Choi and Head of Business Development Kangsik Yun, Avelos focuses on developing small molecule synthetic drugs targeting synthetic lethality, DNA damage response and cell cycle regulation. Currently, the company is developing four new anti-cancer drug pipelines.

At the forefront of Avelos’ world-class innovation is AD1208, a first-in-class MASTL kinase inhibitor, preclinical candidate of the AVS1001 project designed to affect mitosis in cell cycle process and DNA damage response. This drug offers an option for cancer patients who have been unresponsive to current drugs, and can treat colon cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. An oral medication, AD1208 demonstrates excellent efficacy in selectively inhibiting cancer cells in both laboratory and animal testing. Clinical trials are scheduled to start in the second half of the year, following preclinical toxicity study, using funding from the Series B investment.  

In April, Avelos disclosed preclinical research findings for AVS1001 project at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR 2024). The company now aims to begin full-scale development.

In addition to AVS1001, Avelos has three other projects in its pipeline, aimed at promising targets in the DNA damage response field. Among them, the AVS1002 project is planning to identify a development candidate by the end of this year, for treating patients with homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) in the DNA damage response. This is of significant interest to those in the field of synthetic lethality, as inhibiting this target raises expectations for effectively treating patients resistant to approved drugs in this field, especially PARP inhibitors, or those with HRD that current PARP inhibitors cannot cover. Avelos plans to select candidates later this year and conduct preclinical toxicity study in 2025. As with the development of AD1208, the Series B funding will support these advancements. 

With these notable achievements in research and development, Avelos plans to identify collaborative Korean research partners and facilitate global technology transfer in 2025. The company also plans to list on the KOSDAQ stock market after securing two additional clinical-stage substances.

“The successful completion of the Series B investment, despite challenging conditions with decreased biotech sector investments, underscores the market’s high regard for our expertise, capabilities and growth potential,” said Young Whan Park, CEO of Avelos. The global competitiveness of all treatments in development and adherence to our challenging development timeline have been critical to our success. With this investment, we aim to cultivate globally competitive new anti-cancer drugs and evolve into a leading global biotech firm specializing in world-class synthetic lethality.

Following a focus on securing our R&D pipeline, our next strategic move will include establishing a foundation for global expansion, said Soongyu Choi, Ph.D., who was promoted from CTO to co-CEO in January of this year. He also emphasizes that our scientists at Avelos design and strive for the best outcomes that increase the probability of success in novel drug development.

To learn more about Avelos Therapeutics, visit avelostx.com.

About Avelos Therapeutics

Avelos Therapeutics is a specialized research and development (R&D) company focused on oncology drug discovery and development working with small molecule drugs for undruggable targets in the synthetic lethality, DNA damage response and cell cycle areas. Founded in 2021, the company is led by veterans in pre-clinical and clinical drug development, including CEO Young-Whan Park and Soongyu Choi. To learn more about Avelos Therapeutics, visit avelostx.com.

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