SMC and startup to develop stem cell therapy to treat infant brain disorders

2019.05.20 15:12:03

[Photo provided by Samsung Medical Center]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Samsung Medical Center]

Seoul-based Samsung Medical Center (SMC) announced on Monday it has signed a technology transfer agreement with Medinno, a local biotech firm, over investigational stem cell therapy to treat hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) in infants and severe intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) in premature babies.

HIE in newborn infants and IVH in premature babies are hard-to-treat life-threatening diseases and surviving patients require a life-long aftercare for rehabilitation due to brain lesions. The agreement is expected to accelerate therapy development as the hospital is strong in research of stem cell therapy in infants with intractable brain diseases.

A research team led by Prof. Chang Yoon-sil at the hospital developed the new stem cell therapy to treat HIE in newborn infants and recently completed a pre-clinical trial. A following clinical trial is being prepared after approval by health authorities in Korea. Another research team led by Prof. Park Won-soon and Prof. Chang Yoon-sil is conducting an investigator-led study of the world’s first mesenchymal stem cell therapy to treat IVH in very premature babies.

The hospital expects the technology transfer to help expand the scope of translational research from lab to clinical practice for a novel stem cell approach to treat refractory brain disorders in newborn babies.

Medinno, a startup founded by Dr. Joo Kyeung-min, an anatomy and cell biology professor at Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, has been dedicated to neural stem cell therapies to treat patients with spine injury, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

By Lee Byung-moon and Minu Kim

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