ISU Abxis said it has signed an agreement to co-develop an Alzheimer's disease treatment that targets acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), along with Kyungpook National University (KNU).
|ISU Abxis CEO Lee Seok-joo (left) and Kyungpook Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation President Lim Ki-byung signed a research agreement at ISU Abxis headquarters in Daeshin-dong, downtown Seoul, on Tuesday.|
Under the accord, ISU Abxis will develop a candidate substance for Alzheimer's disease using KNU's ASM inhibitor and conduct screenings to develop a drug using the substance.
KNU Professors Bae Jae-sung and Jin Hee-kyung found the substance after confirming that the activity of ASM, one of the sphingolipid metabolic enzymes that regulate cell activity in the blood of Alzheimer's patients, is about twice that of healthy people.
Alzheimer's mouse model experiments also showed that ASM enzyme inhibited the accumulation of amyloid-beta in the blood vessels and improved learning and memory. There are currently no Alzheimer's disease treatments under development using ASM.
"The need for developing a treatment for Alzheimer's disease is increasing due to population aging, but there is no fundamental remedy," ISU Abxis CEO Lee Seok-joo said. "We will do our best to derive the first-in-class new drug candidates that demonstrate excellent effects on Alzheimer's by developing ASM inhibitory antibody through joint research with KNU."