A*Star unit in $122m deal to co-create deep-tech start-ups

Representatives at the signing of the agreement to co-create local deep tech start-ups in the healthcare and life sciences sector: (seated from left) Mr Philip Lim, CEO of A*ccelerate Technologies, Mr Ian Huen, founder and CEO of Aptorum Group, and M
Representatives at the signing of the agreement to co-create local deep tech start-ups in the healthcare and life sciences sector: (seated from left) Mr Philip Lim, CEO of A*ccelerate Technologies, Mr Ian Huen, founder and CEO of Aptorum Group, and Mr Darren Lui, president and executive director of Aptorum Group, and (standing from left) Mr Frederick Chew, CEO of A*STAR, Dr Prem Kumar, senior adviser to Aeneas Group, and Dr Clark Cheng, chief medical officer and executive director of Aptorum Group.PHOTO: A*STAR

The enterprise arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) has signed a US$90 million (S$122 million) agreement to co-create local deep-tech start-ups in healthcare and life sciences.

The agreement between A*ccelerate Technologies, Nasdaq-listed pharmaceutical firm Aptorum Group and Hong Kong financial institution Aeneas Capital aims to create up to 20 deep-tech ventures in Singapore over the next five years.

These start-ups will tap technologies co-developed by A*Star research institutes and Aptorum, and will get help with being connected to market partners and clients via Aptorum's global network.

One area being explored is imaging solutions in surgical robotics. This would involve applying A*Star's capabilities in medical image analytics and augmented reality to real-time 2D and 3D magnetic resonance imaging surgical imaging solutions.

A*ccelerate chief executive Philip Lim said: "This agreement is testament to the vibrancy of Singapore's biotech ecosystem, as well as the private sector's confidence in A*Star's capabilities in deep-tech and biomedical research."

Mr Ian Huen, founder and chief executive officer of Aptorum and the founder of Aeneas Capital, believes the partnership will yield "strong venture businesses that will be eventually recognised worldwide".

Separately, Aptorum and Aeneas Capital will launch a healthcare and life science strategic investment fund of up to US$200 million, which might invest in the local biotech ecosystem.

The agreement between A*ccelerate, Nasdaq-listed pharmaceutical firm Aptorum Group and Hong Kong financial institution Aeneas Capital aims to create up to 20 deep-tech ventures in Singapore over the next five years. These start-ups will tap technologies co-developed by A*Star research institutes and Aptorum, and will get help with being connected to market partners and clients via Aptorum's global network.

The two parties will also make acquisitions in identified technologies and businesses globally.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2019, with the headline 'A*Star unit in $122m deal to co-create deep-tech start-ups'. Print Edition | Subscribe