BioSpectator by Euna Lee – Exosomes, nano-sized vesicles secreted by cells, have become a focus of attention in the area of diagnosis and drug development because of their act as carriers to transfer various substances such as nucleic acid, protein, lipid, and low molecular substance into other cells.
Noticeable exosome-related biotech have begun to stand out in Korea and one of them is MDimune. It is an exosome company founded by Bae Shin-Gyu, a former researcher at the Dae Sang R&D Center, partner of Hanmi Technology Investment Co.(VC), CEO of Chemizon and vice president of Kainos Medicine. CEO Bae established MDimune in 2015, then in-licensed exosome technology patent of which major inventor is Kim Yoon-Keun, CEO of MD Healthcare, a physician of Seoul National University Hospital internal medicine and a professor of life sciences at POSTECH.
MDimune plans to develop world’s first exosome anticancer drug through BioDroneTM, an artificial exosome-based drug delivery platform that delivers desired drugs to the cancer cells as drones do. “I want to make a company that develops various therapeutics for incurable diseases as an initial point from anticancer drugs and I also want to give hope to patients and their family by developing innovative drugs.” said Bae.
MDimune has focused on the potential of exosomes as drug carriers. Liposomes and polymer particles, used as drug carriers in the past, have not been able to specific targeting for cancer cells when delivering anticancer drugs, resulting in high side effects and low drug efficacy. Thereafter, ADC (Antibody Drug Conjugate) technology using antibodies targeting target proteins of cancer cells is used, however the limit as drug carriers still exists. In addition, since large-sized antibodies cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier (BBB), they are difficult to apply to brain diseases as well.