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Aslan Pharmaceuticals, National Cancer Center Singapore collaborate

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Aslan Pharmaceuticals, an oncology focused biotechnology company, and National Cancer Center Singapore (NCCS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will further enhance the study of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of gastric cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (liver) and cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct), three common forms of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers that are particularly prevalent in Asia. 

Aslan and NCCS will initiate a number of collaborative projects focused on increasing the understanding of novel combinations of known therapeutic agents, including Aslan’s clinical development programs (ASLAN001 and ASLAN002), through preclinical research involving patient-derived cell lines and xenograft models. In addition, the parties will jointly conduct clinical trials studying novel treatments for Asia-prevalent cancers. 

To encourage a broader clinical understanding of gastric cancers in the region, Aslan and NCCS will host a series of disease symposiums in Asia. The symposiums, which will include a dedicated biannual cholangiocarcinoma symposium in Singapore, will bring together GI cancer scientists and clinicians to share research breakthroughs and facilitate knowledge exchange. 

Overall, GI cancers are responsible for more deaths than any other types of cancer. Worldwide, gastric cancer has one of the highest incidence rates, with 952,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012. In Asia, gastric cancer is the third most common cancer after breast and liver, and is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in Asia. There currently are no effective treatments approved for cholangiocarcinoma, a rare tumor comprising of only 3% of GI tumors, but with geographically heterogeneous prevalence whereby the highest rates are in Asia, notably Southeast Asia. 

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