Korean biotech Orum raises $8M for cell-penetrating antibody tech

Orum Therapeutics has raised a small series A to help push on with its work on a monoclonal antibody designed to treat undruggable cytosolic targets.

The Daejeon, South Korea-based biotech has gained $8 million all told, with the money coming from InterVest, KB Investment/Solidus Investment, and LB Investment.

Yeo Jung Moon, M.D, Ph.D., the investment division director at Intervest, will also join Orum’s board in conjunction with the raise.

The new cash pot will be used toward Orum’s cell-penetrating antibody technology and its monoclonal antibody, which is designed to be internalized by the cell and to directly target the activated form of RAS.

The biotech says that, discovered more than three decades ago, the mutant RAS protein has been considered a “highly-validated cancer drug target,” but also has a “reputation as being undruggable.”

Last month, the company published data in Nature showing that systemic administration of this antibody had selective anti-tumor activity, targeting mutant RAS, in early-stage animal models for human colorectal cancer and fibrosarcoma. The tech could be used in both cancer and rare diseases.

“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,” says Moon.

“We are honored to work with leading Korean venture capital firms, who have the experience in early-stage biotechnology companies,” added Sung Joo Lee, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Orum and formerly head of Asia-Pacific Research at Sanofi.

“The financing will support our first program in oncology targeting activated RAS protein, a highly-validated cancer drug target involved in aggressive cancers.”