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D&D Pharmatech raises KRW 20 billion Series A investment

입력 2018-04-02 13:57 수정 2018-04-02 13:57

바이오스펙테이터 Jongwon Jang 기자

Korea’s D&D Pharmatech, which is focused on developing therapies for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and fibrosis in the United States, has attracted KRW 20 billion Series A investment from local equity firms, as well as DongKoo Bio&Pharma, for their product development.

Market sources said on March 22 that the investment was secured from top tier South Korean venture capital firms, such as Interbest, LB Investment, Magna Investment, Smilegate Investment, and Jion Investment, as well as Octave Life Sciences, which was established by American venture capitalist Peter Andreas Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal.

Among the investors, DongKoo Bio&Pharma has secured a 7.9 % stake (KRW 3.13 billion) in D&D Pharmatech, and will engage in the company’s management by appointing a co-CEO (Kim Do-hyung, COO of DongKoo Bio&Pharm), and an outside director (Cho Yong-joon, CEO at DongKoo Bio&Pharma). On March 21, the two companies signed a partnership agreement for business collaboration to develop dementia and diabetes therapies.

D&D Pharmatech is a parent company of the U.S.-based Neuraly Inc. and Theraly Fibrosis Inc., which were incorporated in 2015 and 2016, respectively, for the development of therapies for cerebral degenerative disease. The co-founders include Dr. Lee Kang-choon, a distinguished professor at the College of Pharmacy, Sungkyunkwan University; his son Lee Seul-ki (rated in the top 1 % of world-renowned scientists), an associate professor of radiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and Ted Dawson, a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In addition, another co-founder, Viktor Roschke, who worked at TEVA, Zyngenia, and Human Genome Sciences, is in charge of commercializing the new drug candidates.

Theraly Pharmaceuticals is involved in preclinical trials of c-Abl inhibitor, a novel PD agent, which was developed by Korea’s biotech First Bio Therapeutics.

By attracting the largest investment in Korea, D&D Pharmatech plans to complete Phase I trial of NLY01, a novel GLP1 analogue for the treatment of PD. The company will push its IOP listing in the KOSDAQ market after successful completion of Phase II trials for PD and dementia, and clinical trials for other pipelines related to obesity, diabetes, dementia, and fibrosis will be subsequently conducted.

“NYL01, a novel site-specific PEGylated drug, demonstrates unimaginable disease modification potential in multiple Parkinson models through blocking microglial activation and preventing A1 astrocyte induction, with excellent efficacy in animal models,” said CEO Lim Sung-muk of D&D Pharmatech.

"NYL01 is aimed at the fundamental treatment of cerebral degenerative disease, not merely a simple inhibitor. Based on its better safety and production efficiency, as well as extended half-life, I am confident that NYL01 will emerge as one of the most promising disease-modifying options for PD.”

▲동구바이오제약의 조용준 대표(왼쪽)과 디앤디파마텍의 임성묵 대표는 21일 치매질환 및 당뇨병 치료제 공동 개발 및 사업 협력을 위한 체결식을 진행했다. 동구바이오제약 제공.

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