Avacta strengthens South Korean ties

Joint venture with Daewoong aims to develop stem cell treatments for covid-19 and other respiratory diseases

 Avacta-Daewoong stem cell technology for covid-19 treatment

Embryonic stem cells

Avacta Group has announced an expansion of its collaboration and license agreement with Daewoong Pharmaceutical and AffyXell Therapeutics, the joint venture established in South Korea by the two companies, to develop stem cell treatments incorporating Avacta’s Affimer synthetically-engineered antibodies therapy for the treatment of seriously ill patients with covid-19 and to also prepare to rapidly develop similar therapies for future global pandemics.

AffyXell is developing a novel class of stem cell treatments that are engineered to also produce Affimer therapies in the patient.

The expansion of the agreement between Avacta, Daewoong Pharmaceutical and AffyXell extends the scope of the partnership to include Affimer molecules that target viruses, such as coronaviruses, in order to develop therapies that repair the lung damage caused by covid-19 whilst also producing neutralising Affimer molecules to prevent the progression of the disease.

Dr Alastair Smith, chief executive of Avacta Group commented: “I am very pleased to have extended our collaboration and license agreement with Daewoong Pharmaceutical.

“AffyXell will address the need over the coming years for advanced stem cell therapies to treat lung damage  suffered by covid-19 patients and, at the same time, help prevent disease progression in these patients.

“More broadly, one of the key areas of unmet clinical need that AffyXell can address with its stem cell therapies is acute pulmonary diseases such as COPD and acute respiratory distress syndrome. We, and our partners in South Korea, are very excited by the potential to develop life improving treatments for patients with these serious respiratory diseases as well as covid-19.”

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