S. Korean and Australian biotech firms join hands to develop exosome-based therapies

By Lim Chang-won Posted : August 27, 2019, 16:44 Updated : August 27, 2019, 16:44

[Courtesy of Toolgen]

SEOUL -- ToolGen, a South Korean company which develops genome editing technology, has partnered with VivaZome Therapeutics, an Australian biotech company, to develop therapies based on exosomes which are recognized for their critical role in cell-to-cell communication and transportation.

Exosomes are small vesicles found in nearly all eukaryotic fluids and facilitate a variety of important cellular functions. One of their important functions is to transfer DNA, RNA, and proteins to other cells. The market for exosome therapeutics has been growing rapidly. Many life science companies have launched tools and systems to support exosome research.

The two companies said in a joint statement that they have signed a collaborative research and option agreement to explore gene-editing of cells for enhanced exosome production. ToolGen would use its technology to introduce gene edits into selected cell types. Gene edits are aimed at selectively altering the content and characteristics of exosomes.

The agreement includes an option for VivaZome to license ToolGen's technology, as well as any intellectual property arising from research for the development and commercialization of exosome products for human therapy, the statement said.

"Exosomes have great therapeutic potential and the field of exosomes is growing rapidly. We look forward to working with the team at VivaZome to develop gene-edited cells with the potential to enable and accelerate the development of exosome-based therapies," ToolGen director Lee Jae-young was quoted as saying.
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