A joint research team of Helixmith and Seoul National University College of Medicine has found that the company’s antibody therapy, VM507, could be useful for treating immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy.
VM507 is an antibody that can activate c-MET, a hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor, and shows activation of HGF when administered.
|An industry-university joint research team has found the potential of Helixmith’s antibody therapy, VM507, in treating immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy. (Helixmith)|
The drug can be delivered to the human body through vascular or local injection. VM507 has fine stability as it is an antibody therapy, and the drug does not accompany immune rejection.
IgA nephropathy is the most common type of inflammation of the glomeruli in the world and is also known as Berger’s disease, named after Dr. Jean Berger who first described the illness. There are about one million patients with Berger’s disease in Korea.
IgA nephropathy is caused by excessive production of type A antibodies that build up in the kidney. This leads to blood leak in urine via inflammation in glomerulus where the body waste in the blood is filtered.
In the early stage, patients barely show symptoms, but hematuria and proteinuria are often found late.
Naturally recovered cases from IgA nephropathy are rare. About one-fourth of the patients with the disease develop chronic renal failure in 10 years, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. For these reasons, early diagnosis is critical for monitoring prognosis.
The joint study, conducted jointly by a college research team led by Professor Lee Jung-pyo and Helixmith, revealed that the amount of c-MET measured in the urine of patients with IgA nephropathy has a close relationship to the onset and progression of the disease.
The study has also shown that VM507 restored the function of renal intervascular cells and relieved inflammation in the cell model of IgA nephropathy.
“We have proved the efficacy of VM507 for kidney disease in various ways, and the company is trying to enter a clinical trial,” Helixmith CEO Yu Seung-shin said. “VM507 has potential as a blockbuster medicine that can be used for various diseases besides kidney disease.”
The study result was published in an international journal, Journal of Cellular, and Molecular Medicine.
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