A recent article in the Korea Biomed Review reported that the joint research effort by Seoul National Medical College and Helixmith of San Diego, California, found Helixmith’s VM507 antibody effective in the treatment of IgA nephropathy.
In Korea, there are approximately one million people who have IgA nephropathy.
About Immunoglobulin A (IgA)
The IgA antibody is a protein manufactured by the immune system that protects the body. It is located primarily in the linings of the digestive system and respiratory tract.
About IgA Nephropathy
IgA nephropathy, often called Berger’s disease, may be detected by finding blood in the urine (hematuria) or excess protein in the urine (proteinuria).
There are few, if any, symptoms in the early stages of the disease. It is therefore often diagnosed later in disease progression. In ten years, about twenty-five percent of patients will experience renal failure. These patients will be put on dialysis or perhaps require a kidney transplant.
Therefore, doctors caution patients to be vigilant, as early diagnosis is critical.
IgA nephropathy occurs when immunoglobulin type A antibodies are overproduced, resulting in inflammation in the glomerulus and damage to the kidneys. The glomerulus is composed of capillary blood vessels that filter body waste from the blood and form urine.
|The VM507 antibody activates HGFR (hepatocyte growth factor receptors) which are created by various cells. HGF plays a role in maintaining and renewing critical organs including the liver, lungs, and kidneys. It is also instrumental in regenerating these organs. HGFR is alternately called c-Met.
The team that participated in the joint study found that the amount of c-Met they measured in patients’ urine was closely related to the initial stages and subsequent progression of IgA nephropathy.
The drug can be administered by injection and it does not have a history of immune rejection.
VM507 was found to have reduced the inflammation that had been produced in a model of IgA nephropathy. The drug was also successful in reviving renal intervascular cell function.
Helixmith’s CEO announced that VM507 has proven to be effective in the treatment of kidney disease. He feels confident that it will be a blockbuster medicine not only for IgA nephropathy but that it has the potential to treat diseases other than kidney disease.