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A*Star inks US$90m deal to create deep tech startups in healthcare, life sciences

THE Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) enterprise arm A*ccelerate on Wednesday signed a US$90 million agreement with Nasdaq-listed pharmaceutical firm Aptorum Group and Hong Kong financial institution Aeneas Capital to co-create local deep tech startups in healthcare and life sciences.

In the latest of a series of venture co-creation agreements, Aptorum and A*ccelerate aim to create up to 20 deep tech ventures in Singapore over the next five years. These startups will tap technologies co-developed by A*Star research institutes and Aptorum, and will get help with being connected to relevant market partners and clients via Aptorum's global network.

One area being explored is surgical 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 (MRI) surgical imaging solutions.

A*ccelerate chief executive officer 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."

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Ian Huen, founder and CEO of Aptorum as well as founder of Aeneas Capital, expressed his strong belief that the partnership will yield "strong venture businesses that will be eventually recognised worldwide".

Separately, Aptorum Group and Aeneas Capital will also launch a healthcare and life science strategic investment fund of up to US$200 million, which might be used to invest in the local biotech ecosystem. The two parties will also make acquisitions in identified technologies and businesses globally.