Daewoong Pharmaceutical has embarked on a new open-collaboration business with British biotech company Avacta.
The company announced on Jan. 8 that it signed a partnership agreement with Avacta, a developer of protein therapeutics platform, on Dec. 31, 2019. The two companies will establish a joint venture and work together to develop immune disease treatments based on a cell therapy platform.
The joint venture will develop treatments based on functionally enhanced stem cells using the technologies of its parent companies. Daewoong Pharmaceutical will license mesenchymal stem cell technology to the joint venture while Avacta will allow it to use its affimer technology, a protein therapeutics platform based on the body's naturally occurring protein called Stefin A. Affimer protein is an antibody-like subdivision protein that has a significant advantage in terms of tissue penetration, about one-tenth the size of a conventional antibody.
Daewoong Pharmaceutical's stem cell platform (DW-MSC) is a mesenchymal stem cell derived from embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells, and unlike the existing adult tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells that are limited in the number of cultures, it is possible to produce large amounts of stem cells. In addition, long-term culturing is required to introduce therapeutic genes into stem cells. DW-MSCs can maximize stem cell efficacy through gene introduction.