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New Treatment for Infectious Respiratory Disease

한양대학교 공과대학

2022년 9월 13일

Professor Park Hee-ho from the Department of Bioengineering, Selecting Professor of Excellence at Hanyang University

■ Professor Park Hee-ho from the Department of Bioengineering, Selecting Professor of Excellence at Hanyang University

|New Treatment for Infectious Respiratory Disease

Hanyang University has announced on June 30th that Professor Park Hee-ho from the Department of Bioengineering developed a new treatment to improve and cure severe respiratory disease.

The technology is evaluated as a new concept of immunocellular treatment that enables peptides to be created inside the body, which presented a new paradigm for cell therapy with the name of "biofactory". This research was conducted with the joint participation of Lee Won-hwa, the professor of chemistry in SKKU, and professor Kim Hong-nam's research team from KIST brain science research center.

One of the main causes of death by infectious diseases including COVID-19, SARS and MERS, which have recemtly attracted attention for its strong transmission and mortality was found to be septic shock caused by cytokine storm. Xigris (Activated Protein C, APC) was used as the only one material that FDA approved as sepsis treatment, but it was completely removed from the sepsis treatment market in 2011 due to its insufficient efficacy, short half-life and other side effects. Since then, the treatment for patients with severe sepsis has relied on oxygen therapy and steroids.

In order to solve these problems and effectively respond to the furure pendemic diseases, the joint research team has started to develop drugs not directly acting on the infectious sources and being able to treat severe diseases.

The research team, along with Ahn Jun-Hong's Yeungnam University Hospital team, collected and analyzed samples of COVID-19 patients, discovering a biomarker that diagnoses severe disease, as well as proposing a new treatment named "biofactory" that creates peptide drugs inside the body.

This is a new concept that expresses peptide drug on the surface of a cell inside the body and allows the therapeutic peptides to be optionally secreted by the cleavage enzyme released from the severe disease site.

Through animal experiments, the joint research team verified the efficacy that restrains serious vascular inflammatory reaction by simultaneously manifesting peptide, which can activates vascular cell's protective mechanism in T cell which is separated from blood, and substrate of an enzyme that cuts the receptor. In addition, to overcome the shortcomings of animal experiments with different immune and inflammatory reaction from human, the severe COVID-19 patient was implemented in the specially designed three-dimentional vascular structure, proving the clinical effect of peptide drug.

Professor Park Hee-Ho from the Department of Bioengineering commented “this research is very meaningful in that it proposed "Biofactory", the new platform in the field of immunocyto therapy.” He added, “It is a new concept of treatment which can be applied to a wide range of severe infectious disease patients with effectiveness and less side effects.”

This research done with the support of the "Outstanding new researchers support project" by National Research Foundation of Korea and "Basic research laboratory support project", published in the global academic Journal 「Advanced Science」(IF 17.521, Materials Science, Multidisciplinary field top 5%).

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