South-Korea-based Orum Therapeutics has raised $30 million in Series B financing from IMM Investment, Smilegate Investment, and existing investors to expand the repertoire of its cell-penetrating antibody platform.
The platform, called Oromab, has been shown to target proteins that small molecules and other antibodies cannot. It builds antibodies that bind to cell-specific receptors which are then taken up into the interior of the cell but exit to the cytoplasm before being destroyed by the lysosome, an organelle that breaks down waste and foreign bodies.
Once in the cytosol, the antibodies can be therapeutically active and directly target disease-causing proteins or deliver payloads. With the Oromab platform, Orum is exploring several therapeutic avenues: 1) inhibiting Ras and tumor-specific intracellular oncogenic drivers, 2) delivery of oligonucleotides or enzymes for cancer and rare diseases, and 3) targeted degradation of disease proteins.
Two years ago, researchers from Orum Therapeutics and South Korea’s Ajou University demonstrated their antibody blocked RAS activity in mice, successfully targeting a mutation that most believed was ‘undruggable.’ The new funding will allow Orum to explore additional applications for its work.
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