Aimed Bio enters clinic with brain disease treatment

2023.12.12 14:31:01 | 2023.12.12 16:20:59

Nam Do-Hyun, a professor of neurosurgery at South Korea’s Samsung Medical Center이미지 확대

Nam Do-Hyun, a professor of neurosurgery at South Korea’s Samsung Medical Center



Nam Do-Hyun, a professor of neurosurgery at South Korea’s Samsung Medical Center (SMC) who specializes in brain disorders, revealed the success factors of Aimed Bio Inc., an SMC spin-off company developing therapeutic solutions for patients with serious brain diseases, in a recent interview with Maeil Business Newspaper. While citing the organic connection between the clinical field and the laboratory as the company’s advantage, Nam said that “Aimed Bio is one of Korea’s youngest antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) developers but entered the clinic very quickly by directly applying the lessons learned from dealing with patients to drug development.” He added that “discovering candidates based on patient-centered thinking and unmet medical needs, as well as building a unique patented technology through multiple experiments, led to Aimed Bio’s rapid growth.”

Founded by Nam in 2018, Aimed Bio uses its ADC platform to develop treatments for disorders including intractable brain tumors, bladder cancer, and dementia. ADCs, also dubbed a guided missile, combine an antibody with a drug to target cancer cells to deliver treatment selectively to specific cells and are gaining traction for their high efficacy and few side effects. “Aimed Bio sets itself apart from its peers in that it uses patient-derived cells to make antibodies based on long-standing clinical know-how and collaboration with SMC,” Nam said. “We designed the antibodies so that the drugs can fully enter the target cells with minimal side effects.”

“In order to develop good therapies and bring them to patients as quickly as possible, we need to collaborate and take responsibility for what each of us are good at rather than sticking to our own platforms,” Nam added. “Having led the national intractable cancer research project for more than a decade, I have developed a keen eye for finding possibilities for therapeutic development, helping me select companies to work with.”

Among Aimed Bio’s multiple drug candidates, AMB302 has picked up speed in entering the clinical phase. AMB302 is a new drug candidate that targets fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) 3 in glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor, and bladder cancer. The FGFR 3-ADC has demonstrated excellent anticancer effect in previous animal studies and has shown positive results in safety evaluations. “Brain tumors are a difficult area to conquer, with only three to four approved therapies in the last 20 to 30 years,” Nam said. “Using good nonclinical data built so far, we will submit an investigational new drug (IND) application for phase 1 clinical trials to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the first half of next year and then go after the domestic market.”

The company will also focus on jointly developing an ADC toolbox with Samsung BioLogics Co. which helps internalize a company’s payload technology to provide customers with ADC production services. Aimed Bio, selected as the Samsung Group Fund’s first domestic investment also signed a contract development organization (CDO) with Samsung BioLogics for AMB001, a new drug candidate for dementia and atopy. “My desire to become a medical scientist, after years of patient care, surgery, and research, led to this collaboration,” Nam said. “For now, we will focus on perfecting the ADC platform to create a first-in-class drug.” He also highlighted the need to foster more medical scientists in the Korean pharmaceutical industry, saying, “There are precious few clinical doctors who contribute and make attempts to develop treatments, and more experts are needed to provide answers to patients who are frustrated without a drug that fits them.”

By Shim Hee-jin and Choi Jieun

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