Immune & Immunotherapeutics
Immune On/Off Switching Drugs
based on PHAGERIARUS® Immune Regulators
“Now it is immune!”
This is my first meeting with iNtRON Bio CEO Yoon Kyung-won.
Inside iNtRON’s editorial team listened to iNtRON Bio CEO, Yoon Kyung-won, about the company’s status and future direction.
“What platform technologies is iNtRON Bio currently focusing on?”
iNtRON Bio’s core technologies are based on Bacteriophage and Endolysin technologies. We are developing a number of novel pipeline drugs, especially based on endolysin engineering technology: itLysin®.
iNtRON Bio has developed a first-in-class new drugs based on itLysin® technology by specializing in bacterial diseases caused by super-bacteria. The company has signed a global ‘Out-Licensing’ contract that is one of our main achievements, and we are currently preparing for a global phase 2 clinical trial.
Furthermore, we are developing a viral-based technology that covers viral diseases called PHAGERUS®.
We are currently allocating a portion of our investments to develop the PHAGERUS® platform technology; a new technology based on the Bacteriophages’ natural mechanisms, to develop therapeutics and vaccines against viruses.
Bacteriophages are bacterial-eating viruses that are similar in shape and life history to viruses in humans and animals, and iNtRON bio is to develop a treatment or vaccine against the virus using natural (wild-type) bacteriophages or engineered ones.
In summary, we aim to develop bacteriophage-based virus treatments or vaccines based on their similarity to viruses.
The fundamental goal of PHAGERUS® is to significantly accelerate the setup of core source technologies by developing “Ag-PHAGERUS®, Ablp-PHAGERUS®, Mock-up PHAGERUS®, and Adjuvant PHAGERUS®”. We are discussing various cooperation such as establishing JV based on GMP facilities with related biopharmaceutical companies for the production of new drugs.
“What is PHAGERIARUS® platform technology?”
Our focus so far has been the field of itLysin® technology, which is fundamentally developing a new form of endolysin technology that further improves the function of existing endolysin to develop treatments for bacterial infectious diseases, recently entered PHAGERUS® technology. It has expanded to the field of developing treatments for viral infectious diseases following bacteria.
In addition, iNtRON Bio is generating a new field of PHAGERIAUS® platform technology that will become an “innovative innovation” in the future.
PHAGERIARUS® is a technology that identifies the relationship between bacteriophages, bacteria, and viruses, which are said to be directly related to immunity.
iNtRON Bio is focusing on researching and developing new drug pipelines with the goal of developing immuno-cancer drugs and immunotherapeutic agents linked to various immune responses based on PHAGERIARUS® technology.
“Immunity to infectious disease treatments, and associations with cancer?”
After the body’s immune system identifies substances entering the body from the outside as invasive (or foreign), the innate immune cells such as macrophages, dendritic cells, NK cells, and neutrophil become activated and remove the invader. The development of cancer treatments by applying this immune system is the background to the birth of immuno-oncology drugs.
In this perspective, the development of therapeutic agents for bacterial and viral infectious diseases and the development of anticancer immunotherapies are similar approaches in terms of immunity.
For this reason, mRNA-based global big pharma such as Moderna and Pfizer are also implementing strategies to develop and invest in both infectious diseases and anticancer drugs at the same time.
iNtRON has also found interest in the immunology field based on our core technologies related to infectious diseases. Our first project using PHAGERIARUS® platform technology, we have been developing immuno-cancer drugs. In addition, we will carefully analyze development and progress, and in the future, we will undertake additional projects to treat various immune diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, and Diabetes.
Our first project of the PHAGERIARUS® is called 1st B.E.C.Project, and we plan to undertake following projects such as the 2nd and 3rd projects in the future.
“Why is iNtRON Bio focusing on immuno-therapeutics?”
We are first interested in immune-related diseases, and it is related with innate immunity.
The substances that activate innate immunity are commonly referred to as PAMPs (Pathogen-Associated Mobile Patterns) and DAMP (Danger-Associated Mobile Patterns), which are recognized by receptors called Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs) in the body. Substances that stimulate immunity by binding to PRRs are called agonists, and many immunotherapy drugs using these agonists are being developed.
iNtRON Bio is first focusing on the PRR agonists: more specifically the TLR to RLR agonists, and the new PAMPs derived from Bacteriophages.
We are focusing on Bacteriophages as the new source of PAMPs that will expand the basic concept of existing PAMPs. areas where new definitions are needed in existing immunology. This field will provide a new definition to conventional immunology that PAMPs which induce innate immunity are not only derived from bacteria and viruses, but also that bacteriophages will be important sources of PAMPs.
iNtRON Bio’s PHAGERIARUS® technology is to develop a new PRR agonist (BɸPTA) derived from bacteriophages by classifying bacteriophages into categories of new PAMPs. To this end, we are using extensive bacteriophage genomic information to screen candidates for new immuno-cancer drugs. We will expand them to various immune-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
From the point of view of immunity, the development of virus-derived therapeutics and the development of immunotherapeutic drugs such as immuno-cancer drugs are in the same direction. This is the reason why we, who have focused on bacterial and viral infectious diseases, now are paying attention to immunotherapy.
“What is the relationship between the immune system, bacteriophages, bacteria, and viruses?”
The microbiome explains why diseases vary from person to person, even though humans have nearly identical genes. So far, the microbiome has been identified in the relationship between bacteria and bacteria, but our phageriarus® technology goes beyond the relationship between bacteria and bacteria to explain the microbiome through the interaction of bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages, and immunity.
In the relationship between bacteria, viruses, and bacteriophages, there will surely be substances that regulate the human immune system. Also, there will be factors that mutually affect bacteria, viruses, and bacteriophages and are associated with the human immune system, thereby causing or suppressing diseases.
The ultimate goal of PHAGERIARUS® technology is to develop immunotherapeutics (immune regulators).
“Our ultimate goal is to develop immune regulators!”
iNtRON Bio is discovering new substances that regulate immunity by examining the relationship between bacteria, viruses, and bacteriophages. We are developing different types of anticancer APIs for the initial application, and we are developing immune regulators that can control various diseases through the regulation of the immune system
iNtRON will grow into a “global R&BD group” through R&BD innovation to develop immunotherapeutic drugs by identifying the relationship between bacteria, viruses, and bacteriophages beyond personalized medicine for viral and infectious diseases.
Our endless commitment to innovative-innovation drugs drives the spirit of iNtRON’s R&BD.
it is iNtRON.