Automera unlocks the full potential of autophagy-based targeted protein degradation for oncology and other indications
SEATTLE & SINGAPORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Accelerator Life Science Partners (ALSP), an early-stage life science accelerator and investment firm that creates and builds next-generation biotechnology companies centered on innovative science, today announced the Series A financing of Automera, a new biotechnology company that focuses on the development of autophagy-targeting chimera small molecules (AUTACs). Augmented with quantum chemistry and artificial intelligence (AI) enabled drug discovery tools, Automera’s AUTACs have the broad potential to rapidly generate novel therapeutic leads for a range of diseases. Automera will initially focus its product development efforts to treat cancer. The company was established by co-founders Associate Professor Michael Lazarou, Loong Wang, and Taiyang Zhang at Talo Labs Pte Ltd. in collaboration with ALSP. Automera has secured $16M in Series A funding, a co-led endeavor by ALSP and ClavystBio, with participation from Singapore-based global investor EDBI, Xora Innovation, and other undisclosed investors. Joining the Board of Directors are Loong Wang, from Automera, Dr. Alice Chen and Thong Q. Le, from ALSP, and Dr. Wen Qi Ho, from ClavystBio.
“ALSP has long been interested in helping to drive biopharma innovation emerging in Singapore,” said Alice Chen, Executive Vice President at ALSP and Automera board member. “As our first investment in Singapore, Automera exemplifies the innovative scientific and translational research ongoing in the region. We plan to leverage ALSP’s unique company-building capabilities in Singapore, and we look forward to working with the broader Singapore community to enhance the platform technologies and early-stage therapeutic programs that Automera will develop. We are honored to co-lead Automera’s Series A financing with our partners at ClavystBio and are excited about expanding Automera’s operations in the months ahead.”
Automera’s AUTAC platform is a next-generation approach to realizing the potential of targeted protein degradation (TPD) as a therapeutic modality. TPD, an emerging field of novel therapeutics, catalyzes the degradation of disease-related proteins while retaining the benefits of small molecules. Automera’s AUTAC platform is designed to generate novel therapies that degrade not only disease-related proteins but also protein aggregates, organelles, and pathogens. AUTACs have the potential to provide a more flexible approach to protein degradation than existing approaches such as proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) to trigger protein degradation.
“Automera was founded on the premise that improving health outcomes for people with serious diseases requires new technologies that make it easier, faster, and less expensive to develop safe and effective medicines,” said Loong Wang, co-founder of Automera. “We believe that our AUTAC platform is one such technology, with broad potential across multiple disease indications that are difficult to treat with current therapeutic approaches. We greatly value the business and financial support that ALSP provides and are proud that leading healthcare investors are participating in Automera’s Series A financing. With these resources, Automera is well positioned to deploy our AUTAC platform toward the development of potentially transformative therapies.”
Automera has assembled a distinguished scientific advisory group that includes Associate Professor Michael Lazarou, Automera’s Scientific Co-Founder at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) and the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Dr. Nicholas Ktistakis from Babraham Institute, Dr. Gene Yeo from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and Dr. Kendall Mohler from ALSP.
“ClavystBio is excited to be building new ventures in Singapore through partnerships with young entrepreneurs like Loong Wang and his team at Automera, and smart capital investors like ALSP,” said Wen Qi Ho, Therapeutics Lead at ClavystBio. “Our mission is to accelerate the commercialization of breakthrough innovations like the AUTAC platform for health impact, and we welcome Automera and ALSP to Singapore’s growing life sciences translational community.”
Automera is an early-stage company focused on the development of a novel therapeutic approach via autophagy-based targeted protein degradation. Automera aims to leverage its unique understanding of autophagy, drug development capabilities, and access to quantum chemistry and generative AI-enabled insights to enhance its drug development programs. Automera’s AUTAC platform has broad potential across cancer and other disease areas, with oncology being the initial lead program. The company was founded by co-founders Associate Professor Michael Lazarou, Loong Wang, and Taiyang Zhang at Talo Labs Pte Ltd.
About Accelerator Life Science Partners
Accelerator Life Science Partners (ALSP) is an early-stage life science accelerator and investment firm that creates and builds next generation biotechnology companies centered on innovative science. ALSP catalyzes the development and commercialization of breakthrough biotechnology innovations by providing a holistic toolkit and leveraging its network and entrepreneurial expertise to accelerate the establishment and operation of early-stage biotechnology companies. ALSP’s portfolio companies are backed by renowned life science investors and are comprised of industry-leading, transformative companies, including KayoThera, Inc., Lodo Therapeutics (acquired by Zymergen, now Ginkgo BioWorks), Petra Pharma (acquired by a global pharmaceutical company), Proniras Corporation, and Rodeo Therapeutics (acquired by Amgen Inc.).
ClavystBio’s mission is to accelerate the commercialization of life science breakthroughs into health impact. We invest and partner with innovators, entrepreneurs, and founders to launch and grow global companies in Singapore. We foster partnerships among academics, industry, and investors, and convene life sciences communities at our collaborative innovation space Node 1. Together, we advance Singapore as a global life sciences translational hub.
ClavystBio was conceived and launched by Temasek to be a venture builder, trusted partner, and keystone to catalyze global health solutions from Singapore. Since our inception in 2022, ClavystBio has committed over US$220m to biotech, diagnostics, and digital health companies, as well as early-stage VC funds.
Investing since 1991, EDBI is a Singapore-based global investor in select high growth technology sectors ranging from Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Emerging Technology (ET), Healthcare (HC) and promising Singapore SMEs in strategic industries. As a value-creating investor, EDBI assists companies achieve their ambitious goals by leveraging our broad network, resources, and expertise. With our growth capital, EDBI supports companies seeking to grow in Asia and globally through Singapore.
About Xora Innovation
Xora Innovation invests in disruptive, world-changing ventures forged by ambitious founders and powered by compelling scientific breakthroughs. Headquartered in Singapore, Xora is an early-stage deep tech investing platform of Temasek.