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U.S. research company Lifex works with S. Korea's Macrogen to develop Parkinson's disease treatment

By Lim Chang-won Posted : February 22, 2021, 13:04 Updated : February 22, 2021, 13:04

[Courtesy of Macrogen]

SEOUL -- Lifex Biolabs, an American pharmaceutical research company, will work with Macrogen, a biotech company and expert in genomic analysis in South Korea, to develop Parkinson's disease treatment as part of their strategic partnership.

Macrogen said that it would select a biomarker, based on DNA sequencing technology. A biomarker is a measurable indicator of the severity or presence of some disease state. In 2020, Macrogen made a strategic investment in the form of loans to Lifex, which develops small-molecule medicines to treat patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

Lyfex uses a candidate material introduced by the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore as a biomarker related to Parkinson's disease, which is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. The disease occurs when the dopamine-secreting nerve cells distributed in the mesenteric melanoma die out. Lifex, which has developed a new material that activates and protects dopamine-secreting neurons, aims to complete non-clinical research by 2023.

"We can increase competitiveness in developing Parkinson's disease treatments based on Macrogen's excellent DNA sequencing facilities, top world-class DNA sequencing infrastructure, and Lyfex's new drug development technology," Macrogen CEO Lee Su-kang said, promising to actively pursue precision medicine for predicting, diagnosing and treating diseases.

Macrogen is involved in a state pilot project aimed at establishing big data in biology. It is part of the so-called K-DNA project to support the development of new drugs, medical device products and the digital healthcare industry. The two-year project calls for the establishment of clinical information and genomic data about more than 20,000 people. Big data in biology helps to explore the role of data-driven analysis for reaching logical conclusions to solving biological problems.


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