Degron Therapeutics announced as winner of AFCR's 2023 BRACE Award Venture Competition

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The Asian Fund for Cancer Research (AFCR) is pleased to announce that Degron Therapeutics was selected as the winner of the 2023 BRACE Award Venture Competition.

AFCR's BRACE (Bridging Research from Academia to Cancer Entrepreneurship) Award Venture Competition is designed to support and accelerate oncology innovations on their path toward commercialization, with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for patients affected by cancer globally. AFCR aims to support the winners of the BRACE Award with funding resources, advisory experts, and access to our global network of key opinion leaders in cancer research.

The winner of the BRACE Award Venture Competition must past the three-step rigorous evaluation process undertaken by the BRACE program's blue-ribbon Committees: Selection, Judging, and Investment.

Degron Therapeutics, headquartered in Shanghai and with labs in the US and China, is at the forefront of developing a novel class of small molecule drugs through its molecular glue-based targeted protein degradation platform.

Degron Therapeutics stands as a global leader in the discovery and development of a new class of small molecule drugs termed molecular glue degraders. Through their proprietary GlueXplorer platform, Degron Therapeutics has curated a unique and expanding library of molecular glue compounds, enabling the targeting of previously undruggable targets. This platform leverages phenotypic screening, proteomic screening, and artificial intelligence (AI) to predict novel targets and expedite compound discovery. Degron Therapeutics has rapidly expanded its proprietary glue chemical library, thereby identifying a growing list of potentially degradable disease targets. Among these, a novel degrader of a previously "undruggable" RNA-binding protein that regulates cancer survival and metastasis leads the way, showcasing impressive potency, selectivity, and preliminary pharmacokinetics.

The Committees of the BRACE Award Venture Competition recognize that Degron Therapeutic's novel technology holds great promise in positively impacting patients as demonstrated by an investment of HK$2,300,000, as part of Degron Therapeutics' upcoming Series A+ funding round.

Novel approaches for inactivating important proteins that are critical for tumor maintenance are most welcome. The committee was impressed with their GlueXplorer platform which could potentially be a game-changer in identifying novel cancer targets that are previously undruggable."

Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D., BRACE Award Venture Competition Selection and Judging Committee Co-Chair

"We are elated to be honored with the prestigious title of the 2023 BRACE Award Venture Competition winner and express our deep gratitude for the support from AFCR. The invaluable connections forged with accomplished advisors are very beneficial to us," said Dr. Lily Zou, Co-Founder and CEO of Degron Therapeutics. "We are excited by the recognition and credibility that comes with this award and look forward to collaborating with AFCR as we strive to redefine cancer treatment not only in Asia but worldwide."

"As we enter the 4th year since the inauguration of the BRACE Award Venture Competition, we are proud to be recognized as a valuable source of impact investment for early-stage oncology companies," expressed Asian Fund for Cancer Research President and CEO, Founder Sujuan Ba, Ph.D. "The competition continues to advocate and accelerate the development of innovative concepts from the bench to the 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 is designed to provide vital support to early-stage biotechs, enabling them to accelerate their innovative therapeutics, diagnostics, and cancer prevention products into the clinic, with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for patients affected by cancer, globally. BRACE Award Venture Competitions provide start-up companies with investment capital, prize honorarium, exposure-generating opportunities and enhanced access to a network of cancer industry leaders and researchers in the region and around the world. Three committees (Selection, Pitch Judging and Investment), whose members are world-class key opinion leaders, life sciences industry experts, investors and entrepreneurs, provide assessments and recommendations for the investment from AFCR. the 2023 Committee members include the following persons:

  • 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
  • Yijing (Jane) Chen, Ph.D., Associate, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Aleksandra Filipovic, M.D., Ph.D., Head of Oncology, PureTech Health
  • Pamela Garzone, Ph.D., Chief Development Officer, Anixa Biosciences
  • Dimitra Georganopoulou, Ph.D., Innovation – Investment | General Partner, Qral Ventures
  • Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D., Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
  • Brian Leyland-Jones, MBBS, Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer, National Foundation for Cancer Research
  • Scott Lippman, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Medicine & Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research, University of California San Diego Health
  • Beverly Lu, Ph.D., Investment Manager, Health, Emerson Collective
  • Jimmy Lu, J.D., MBA, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Eos BioInnovation
  • Eva Martin, M.D., Senior Director, Alliance and Asset Management, Roche Pharma Partnering
  • Tom Miller, Founder & Managing Partner, GreyBird Ventures
  • Gregory W. Mitchell, Ph.D., J.D., Counsel, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Kornelia Polyak, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Fei Shen, Ph.D., Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA
  • Suzanne Topalian, M.D., Associate Director, Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Johns Hopkins University
  • Kevin Tylock, Ph.D., J.D., Associate, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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