YUHS, Celltrion to develop next-generation stroke therapy

Marian Chu  Published 2018.05.31  18:01  Updated 2018.05.31 18:01


Researchers from Yonsei University Health System (YUHS) will work with Celltrion to develop a next-generation ischemic stroke therapy using a compound obtained from snake venom, called saxatilin.

Park Min-soo (right), head of Yonsei University Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, and Kwon Ki-sung, Celltrion’s director of Research and Development, shake hands after signing an agreement for joint research and tech transfer, at the university on Wednesday.

The novel thrombolytic agent, coined FC-saxatilin, was developed in 2008 by the YUHS research team led by Professor Heo Ji-hoe. Clinical studies on animals showed it had thrombolytic effects by dissolving thrombus rapidly. It also had fewer side effects than conventional therapies.

If successful, the two organizations will be the only duo to develop a new thrombolytic drug to replace or be used with Boehringer Ingelheim's Actilyse (ingredient: alteplase), which is the only stroke thrombolytic agent in Korea.

"We believe the new thrombolytic agent, Fc-saxatilin, has high clinical value because of its superior efficacy and low side effects such as cerebral hemorrhage. We expect the joint R&D with Celltrion will lead to the development of next-generation ischemic stroke therapy," Professor Heo said.

Celltrion will aim to get a global license and optimize the substance, run clinical trials, get approvals and commercialize the therapy.

The attainment was the result of strong support to meet the needs of hospitals in the healthcare field, under a project of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, according to the Korea Health Industry Development Institute.

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