DegradaBALL® brings innovation to drug delivery technology

김선중 기자l승인2020.01.21






▲ Lemo Nex / CTO Dalhee Min

Established in December 2013 as a bio therapeutics company, Lemo Nex developed its own drug delivery platform technology DegradaBALL® for immuno-oncology and RNA gene therapy agent. This original technology of Lemo Nex holds various new medicine candidate substances inside and can help inject the drug to parts of the affected area. It is received as a new generation drug delivery technology from the industry officials that is optimized for development of gene therapy agent and immuno-oncology. 

DegradaBALL technology enables injecting drugs to parts of the affected area without physical and chemical transformations of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient). This way, the effect of medicine can be maximized while the side effect can be minimized. During the anticancer therapy, patients have to endure various side effects due to the strength of medicine and Chulhee Won, CEO of Lemo Nex, says:

“Many cancer patients are experiencing vomit, diarrhea, hair loss, weight loss, red spots and other severe pains after being injected the anti-cancer drugs. But injecting the drug onto to parts of the affected can reduce these pains as it only destroys the cells of tumor and its surrounding area.”

When immune checkpoint inhibitor is injected to patients with solid cancer, the ORR (Objective Response Rate) is 10 ~ 30% which is very low. To solve this problem, Lemo Nex is currently working on development BALLkine-2 which will be a part injecting immuino-oncology. BALLkine-2 has been proven to have excellent anti-cancer effect on parts injection at a preclinical effectiveness evaluation. 

BALLkine-2 is also cost effective. In the US, one time injection of the existing antibody drug for cancer patients costs around 15 million won ($12,972) and joint injection with other drugs is around 4 million won ($3,459). Normally, a cancer patient should have 5 to 6 times of injection and it is a great financial burden for most ordinary patients and their families. Using Lemo Nex technologies, however, can minimize the number of injections and/or the amount of injection and patients can save cost. 

Lemo Nex also introduced LEM-S401. It is a DegradaBALL®  platform based siRNA gene therapy agent which can apply parts of the affected area. LEM-S401 has completed a preclinical effectiveness evaluation and currently is being tested on monkeys. It is scheduled to have a clinical test within this year and the second clinical test will take place in the US based on the results of the first test.

Lemo Nex generates profits by licensing out or technology transfer of DegradaBALL. For this, the company is running its research institute within Seoul National University but researches are being carried out in cooperation with Seoul National University Hospital and Korea University Research Management System. Also, the company is planning to build cGMP factory in Juan National Industrial Complex, Incheon, and the production capacity will be 20,000 vials per time when completed. In addition, Lemo Nex is working on co-research and project cooperation with global pharmaceuticals.

In recognition of its endless passion and achievement in the field, Lemo Nex received a chairman’s prize of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Trade, Industry, Energy, SMEs and Startups Committee at the Innovation Winner 2019, hosted by the Herald Group and managed by monthly <PowerKorea>. 

Lemo Nex CEO Chulhee Won obtained a doctor of medicine at Seoul National University and is serving as the head of the foreign cooperation division of the Korea Society for Nanomedicine. Lemo Nex CTO Dalhee Min is serving as a chemistry professor at Seoul National University and won a number of renowned prizes: KCS-Wiley Young Chemist, 2014 For Women in Science (Foundation LOREAL), and 2019 Science Technology Medal. 

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