Catholic University licenses myocardial infarction drug to Pharos Vaccine

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Catholic University Korea Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation has licensed to Pharos Vaccine an immune-tolerant dendritic cell for treating myocardial infarction and its manufacturing method, developed by Professor Jang Ki-yuk of St. Mary’s Hospital from Seoul.


Professor Jang Ki-yuk of St. Mary’s Hospital in Seoul (center) and Vice President of Pharos Vaccine Kim Hyo-won (left of Jang) pose for a photo after signing the license agreement at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital in Seocho-gu, Seoul, on Thursday.


Dendritic cells are a type of specialized antigen-presenting cells that perform antigen-presenting function in T cells and play an important role in T cell activation. Immunotolerant dendritic cells regulate inflammatory response by inducing an tolerance to autoantigens and by inhibiting the proliferation of T lymphocytes.


Although various research results have been published on the treatment of cancer or diseases related to the immune system using dendritic cells, Professor Jang’s research team is the first to apply it to the treatment of infarction myocardium, according to the foundation.


The research team obtained immune-tolerant dendritic cells by culturing dendritic cells with antigens extracted from a mouse model of myocardial infarction. Subsequently, the team compared the normal control group, the group given tDC and the group not treated with tDC within 24 hours of surgery.


Professor Jang’s team confirmed that the tDC administration group had more anti-inflammatory cytokine secretion. Based on the research results, they developed AMI-DC, an immune cell therapy to prevent and treat heart failure after acute myocardial infarction, the university announced Friday.


The team expects AMI-DC to be an effective drug in the treatment of myocardial infarction. It may reduce the inflammatory response after myocardial infarction and the incidence of heart failure by inhibiting reconstruction and preventing excessive thinning of the heart wall.


“AMI-DC has high stability as a therapeutic agent. It extracts blood from myocardial infarction patients and obtains immune-tolerant dendritic cells, and administers them to the patient,” Prof. Jang said. “This may suggest a new paradigm for preventing and treating heart failure after acute myocardial infarction.”


Last June, AMI-DC received clinical trial plan approval from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and is conducting an investigator-led clinical trial.


Pharos Vaccine is preparing to apply for phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in the United States in the second half of 2022 after technology transfer.

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