BIORCHESTRA, SK Biopharmaceuticals collaborate to develop miRNA-targeted therapeutics

BIORCHESTRA, SK Biopharmaceuticals collaborate to develop miRNA-targeted therapeutics

SEOUL, South Korea, Jan. 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — BIORCHESTRA and SK Biopharmaceuticals announced today that they have forged a partnership to research and develop new therapeutic compounds targeting microRNAs [1] (miRNA) for a potential treatment of epilepsy.

Left: Branden Ryu(Chief executive officer at BIORCHESTRA), Right: Cheol-Young Maeng (Head of R&D Division at SK Biopharmaceuticals)
Left: Branden Ryu(Chief executive officer at BIORCHESTRA), Right: Cheol-Young Maeng (Head of R&D Division at SK Biopharmaceuticals)

Under the collaboration agreement, BIORCHESTRA, a South Korea-based privately-held biotech company that develops RNA therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases, will be responsible for target discovery, selection, and synthesis via its in-house technology.

BIORCHESTRA has a platform using antisense oligonucleotides[2] (ASO) to inhibit and regulate miRNA function, and a proprietary drug delivery system (BDDSTM) that penetrates the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and delivers RNA drugs to the brain.

SK Biopharmaceuticals, a global innovative pharmaceutical company, will validate disease-modifying targets, as well as carry out preclinical studies.

The two companies will also jointly own intellectual property and licensing rights to compounds discovered and developed through their research collaboration, while SK Biopharmaceuticals will seek to expand target indications with the compounds for various central nervous system diseases.

Jeong Woo Cho, PhD, President and CEO of SK Biopharmaceuticals, said: “SK Biopharmaceuticals is continuously expanding modality to create the next generation of therapeutics. We will further pioneer a new approach to drug discovery for patients through innovation and partnerships, including with BIORECHSTRA.”

Branden Ryu, CEO of BIORCHESTRA, said: “Our collaboration with SK Biopharmaceuticals will help us tap into our new partner’s expertise in drug development. We hope to accelerate the discovery and development of potential compounds for patients with CNS diseases.”

About BIORCHESTRA

BIORCHESTRA is an emerging biotech in Korea. Its lead program, BMD-001, shows disease-modifying potential for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases by targeting a specific miRNA. BIORCHESTRA has been selected as the first awardee of J&J’s Innovation Quick Fire Challenge on Neuroscience in June, 2021. Destum Partners, a U.S.-based advisory and consulting firm for the biopharmaceutical and life sciences industries, is BIORECHSTRA’s advisor. For more information, visit BIORCHESTRA’s website at http://biorchestra.com/.  

About SK Biopharmaceuticals

SK Biopharmaceuticals and its U.S. subsidiary SK life science are global pharmaceutical companies focused on the research, development and commercialization of treatments for disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). The companies have a pipeline of eight compounds in development for the treatment of CNS disorders, including epilepsy. Additionally, SK Biopharmaceuticals is focused on early research in oncology. For more information, visit SK Biopharmaceuticals’ website at www.skbp.com/eng and SK life science’s website at www.SKLifeScienceInc.com


[1] miRNAs are a class of noncoding RNA that regulate post-transcriptional gene expression via translational repression. miRNAs are gaining attention as a novel target for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. Front. Endocrinol., 03 August 2018 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2018.00402 
[2] Antisense oligonucleotides (ASO) are short, synthetic, single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides that can alter RNA and reduce, restore, or modify protein expression through several distinct mechanisms. Rinaldi, C., Wood, M. Antisense oligonucleotides: the next frontier for treatment of neurological disorders. Nat Rev Neurol 14, 9–21 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrneurol.2017.148

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Source: BIORCHESTRA Co., Ltd.