㈜하플사이언스(공동대표 최학배·김대경)가 총 100억원 규모의 투자유치에 성공했다고 12일 밝혔다. 하플사이언스는 `재조합 단백질 `HAPLN1`을 이용 퇴행화된 신체조직의 재생`이라는 독특한 메커니즘을 가진 치료제를 개발하여, 노화와 관련된 미해결 질병들의 새로운 치료법을 제시하는 바이오벤처이다...
Science of Aging
Aging - 1. Aging in humans
As the costs needed to care for our aging population continue to increase, more long-term and proactive research focusing on geriatric diseases is needed to ensure a sustainable and vibrant socioeconomic future. Today, many leading pharmaceutical companies are investing tremendous efforts and resources in the development of drugs that can prevent and cure various geriatric diseases.
Aging - 2. Age-related Diseases
Aged cells are normally removed by the body’s immune system. However, as the body’s physiological capacity and immune system weakens as we grow older, aged cells begin to accumulate in the major tissues and organs. These accumulating aged cells create a sustained inflammatory environment, damaging neighboring tissues and causing various degenerative diseases that affect health and well-being.
A research team at the Mayo Clinic has coined the term ‘senolytics’ as a new term for drugs that can delay this process. They have also selected dasatinib (an anticancer drug) and quercetin (an anti-inflammatory drug) as candidate drugs for the field of senolytics.
Experiments using genetically modified mice have demonstrated that the artificial removal of aged cells from the body may increase life expectancy by 35% and alleviate geriatric diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the relationship between aged cells and the recovery of homeostasis (the ‘natural state’) have yet to be fully understood. Serious interest and research into this topic has only just begun, together with the discovery and development of drugs that can selectively eliminate aged cells or rejuvenate them.
For example, Calico, a healthcare company launched by Google, has been aggressively focusing on identifying solutions to geriatric diseases since its establishment. Following this trend, many other companies have recently been founded to promote research and development in aging and geriatric diseases.
Meanwhile, Juvenescence, a company established by a British billionaire in 2017, in-licensed a candidate drug from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in the United States. In early 2019, Juvenescence also invested in AgeX Therapeutics and LyGenesis to broaden its research and investment portfolio.
In South Korea, the prevalence of chronic diseases continues to skyrocket, leading to significant increases in government health expenditure. Approximately 94% of the elderly population suffers from at least one chronic disease, and nearly 70% of those aged 65 and older suffer from three or more diseases simultaneously.
Unmet medical needs are more common in the elderly, which negatively impacts their quality of life.
Major geriatric chronic diseases include cardio-cerebrovascular diseases (e.g. hypertension, stroke), musculoskeletal diseases (e.g. arthritis, osteoporosis), and respiratory diseases (e.g. asthma, COPD). Diseases related to the endocrine system (e.g. diabetes), nervous system (e.g. Alzheimer’s), and degeneration of the skin and hair are also included.
Among the most common geriatric diseases, many including osteoarthritis, COPD, dementia, aging of the skin, and hair loss do not have effective treatments available. For this reason, new drugs to treat these conditions are urgently needed.
Aging - 3. Aging and the Extracellular Matrix (ECM)
- The ECM is composed of various structural components (collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid), binding proteins (proteoglycans, glycoproteins) and growth factors
- The components and structure of the ECM depends on the type of tissue. Cartilage is a ligament with high levels of collagen and contains glycosaminoglycans such as hyaluronic acid to maintain high elasticity during tensile and compressive stress
- Tissues can be categorized into three major types: soft tissue (brain, spinal cord), elastic tissue (muscle, blood vessel), and hard tissue (bone, tooth) depending on how they connect with the ECM components
- The binding proteins in the cell play important regulatory roles in proliferation, growth, and death
- The concentration of ECM components decreases with aging, leading to a negative impact on homeostasis and important properties including the adhesive and repairing capacity of tissue
- Fibroblasts in aged tissue can stop proliferating and growing, leading to a gradual reduction in total cell numbers
Aging - 4. Aging of the skin
Fibroblasts synthesize collagen and hyaluronic acid, both of which are key extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Fibroblasts play a very important role in forming a structural framework within body tissues, and specialize in the maintenance of homeostasis by maintaining tissue integrity.
Some fibroblasts transform into adipocytes (fat cells) beneath the epidermis and dermis, helping the skin to appear more plump and youthful.
As the body ages and exposure to sunlight increases, the number and extent to which these fibroblasts proliferate decreases.
- Loss of rete ridges and dermal papilla between the epidermis and dermis
- Reductions and qualitative changes in collagen and elastin and elastin
- Hormone imbalances
- Weakening of adhesion between the epidermis and dermis
- Increase in the skin’s surface area
- Loss of capillary loops of dermal papillae
- Prolongation of the time required to replace epidermal cells
- Reduced secretive capacity of sweat glands and oil glands
- Drier skin
- Increased pore sizes
- Reduced immune function
Aging - 5. Aging of Joints
- Collagen type II, IX, XI → tensile strength
- Aggrecan → compressive stiffness
- Integrin Receptor → Cell-ECM Interactions
- The reduction in functional cartilage cells and degeneration of ECM components accompanied by aging reduces the flexibility of the joint, causing damage and pain
- The major biochemical factor causing degeneration in the articular cartilage is the inability to balance anabolism and catabolism between ECM components such as type II collagen and proteoglycan.
Aging - 6. Aging of hair follicles
Process of hair production
- HHGMCs receive nutritive components via the capillary near the hair papilla
- Division and proliferation of the HHGMCs directly leads to the production of new cells and hair growth
- These cells gradually move further away from the capillary, and are pushed outside the skin before undergoing programmed cell death
- The cells desiccate after they emerge from the scalp, forming hair
A new therapeutic paradigm for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet needs that
naturally occur with aging
- Normalization of the extracellular matrix structure and rejuvenation of the aged cells
Maintenance of a long term monopoly position
- Difficulties in appearance of replaceable drugs due to their innovative mechanisms
- Preoccupying the leadership in the development of improved similar products
Accelerated development of a series of novel therapies as part of an innovative platform technology approach
- New therapies to treat aging and degeneration of the extracellular matrix.
As the body ages, the connective tissue in each organ weakens, causing a broad range of diseases. Treating the weakened connective tissue is thus considered the most important factor in addressing many geriatric diseases.However, these types of fundamental treatments have largely proven elusive to drug researchers.By seeking to normalize the aging connective tissues, HaplnScience will provide a new approach to the treatment of connective tissue degeneration.
Novel drug that treats the root cause of osteoarthritis
TGF-β signaling is a core physiological and pathological factor involved in the emergence and potential treatment of osteoarthritis.In order to treat and prevent osteoarthritis, it is imperative that Smad2/3 pathway is selectively activated. HS-101 is being developed as a promising first-in-class drug with this mechanism
Novel drug that rejuvenates aging Skin
Botox and hyaluronic fillers are known for their efficacy in the treatment of wrinkles. However, they have the following problems:
- Patients can have an unnatural appearance
- Requires top-up surgical procedures every 3 to 6 months
- Repeated procedures cause inconvenience and pain
HS-201 will fundamentally improve upon these problems by:
- Returning the skin to its young, natural and healthy state
- Reducing the inconvenience of multiple surgical procedures
- Maintaining the improved appearance of the skin for a sustained period of time.
Novel drug to stimulate hair regrowth
Hair loss can be caused by various factors. But these factors share one common outcome in that they cause the hair follicles to shrink, which hinders the growth of strong hair.HS-301 induces the proliferation of HHGMCs, the cells responsible for hair growth. This leads to the rapid return of hair follicles to their normal state, enabling strong and sturdy hair growth. For this reason, HS-301 is expected to become the drug of choice for long-term treatment of hair loss, regardless of the cause.
Our vision & values
Hak Bae (Hubert)Choi
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Science Officer
Leadership - Key Personnel
Jeong Uk Lee
Executive Vice President
- Research and development of new drugs, RA, Patent, QA/QC
- Cosmax, BuKwang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Ferring Korea, Mundi Pharma Korea
- Sindongbang R & D Center, National Institute of Safety and Research
- Professor of Graduate School of Pharmacy (Dept.of Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences) at Sungkyunkwan University
- Doctorate, Graduate College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University
Gang Se Lee
Chief Financial Officer
- Professional angel investor
- I-sens. Inc Planning and sales director
- Korea Biotech Investment Capital, Head of the Investment Team
- Master's degree in Animal Resource Science at Seoul National University
Jong Hong Hyun
Director of Business Management Office
- Manager at Avixgen
- Eluon, Head of Finance Team
- KoreaDatasystems Finance Team member
- Graduated from Department of Accounting at Kyungpook National University
Leadership - Advisory Board
Dr. Jin Keon Pai
- 1ST Biotherapeutics, Inc. Senior Advisor
- Handok Pharmaceuticals Co., LTD Senior Advisor
- JW Choongwae Shin-Yak, Senior Advisor
- C&C Research Labs. CEO/Executive Vice President
Prof. Dong Ho Lee, MD, MBA
- Professor of Medicine at Ulsan University
- CEO of the Korea Drug Development Fund
- Director of the Clinical Research Center at Asan Medical Center
- Business unit head at Samyang
- Medical Director, VP of GSK
Prof. Song Yong Park
- Professor of The Division of Bioscience and Technology at Yonsei University
- Research Director, Mogam Biotech Research Institute
- Executive Director, Green Cross Research Center
- Graduated from Seoul National University Department of Microbiology, doctorate from Ajou University Department of Biotechnology
- Senior Director at YL Biologics Ltd.
- Oncotherapy Science Inc.,
- JGC Pharma co., Ltd.
- Baxter Ltd., Riken Shin Yaku K.K.,
- Genzyme Japan, K.K.
- Ph.D. of Utilization of Biological Resources, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo
Dr. Jaehoon Jung
- COO of SPARK Biopharma
- Chief of Research Planning, C&C Research Laboratories
- Principal Scientist, R&D Division, Korea Drug Development Fund
- Postdoc, University of California
- Senior Research Scientist, CKD Research Institute, Chong Kun Dang pharmaceutical company
- Doctorate, Graduate College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University
기술 영역을 둘러싼 담론의 패치워크를 만들어가는 블루 새틀라이트 시리즈는 국내 • 외 전문가들과 함께 지금 가장 주목받는 기술 분야를 다각적으로 살펴보는 토크 프로그램입니다. 블루 새틀라이트 06에서는 'BIO TECH - 노화 질환과 항노화 치료 연구 동향(Anti-aging)' 주제로 네 명의 전문가들의 기술적 제안들을 들여다봅니다...
국제보건기구(WHO)는 2018년 노화(aging)에 대해 질병코드를 부여했다. 사람이 늙는 것이 단순한 자연 현상을 넘어서 각종 질환의 유발 원인임을 인정한 것이다. 이러한 추세에 발맞춰 노화를 차단하고 다시 젊은 상태로 되돌리는 연구 역시 본격적으로 진행되고 있다...
바이오 벤처의 가장 중요한 판단 기준은 '사람'이다. 어떤 연구 인력이 어디에 포진돼 있느냐가 중요하다. 업력이 오래된 제약사 연구소장이라면 일단 믿을만 하다. 기술력과 네트워크는 인정 받고 시작한다. 투자업계가 제약사 연구소장 출신 바이오 벤처들을 주목하는 이유이기도 하다...
하플사이언스 연구개발본부 책임 본부장으로 이정욱 박사를 영입했다고 18일 밝혔다. 부광약품, 한국페링제약, 한국먼디파마 등 제약업계와 국립보건안전연구원 등에서 연구개발 경험을 오랫동안 쌓아온 이 신임 본부장은 서울 약대를 졸업하고 동 대학에서 약학박사를 취득한 신약 연구개발 분야의 전문가이다...
不老, 回春은 인류의 오래된 꿈이다. 여전히 꿈의 영역인 것은 실현되지 않았기 때문이다. 학창시절 유난히 친했던 동기생이 ‘인류에 건강하고 행복한 노년을 선물하자’며 바이오벤처 창업에 의기투합했다. 불로, 회춘의 혁신신약 개발을 공약하고 나선 것. 혹 조금 거창(?)하다고 귓등으로 흘려버릴 수 있다...
최학배 전 한국콜마 대표가 김대경 중앙대학교 약학대학 교수와 함께 노화 신약개발 바이오벤처 '하플사이언스'를 설립하며 새로운 도전에 나섰다. 21일 최학배 하플사이언스 대표(61)는 "뉴스1"과 통화에서 "오랫동안 목표로 했던 신약개발을 위해 한국콜마에서 나와 서울대학교 약대동기인 김대경 교수와 함께 창업하게 됐다"고 밝혔다...