NEXMOS to Blaze a Trail in the Field of APTAMER
NEXMOS to Blaze a Trail in the Field of APTAMER
  • Hyun Duk Yang
  • 승인 2021.11.23 08:44
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Drug delivery shuttle
Alzheimer’s MRI contrast

Aptamers are short strands of oligonucleotides (DNA or RNA) or peptides molecules that bind to specific target molecules. They are small-sized and non-immunogenic unlike antibodies.

Aptamers are used to identify biomarkers on the cell surface, to control the release of therapeutics, and to deliver therapeutic molecules across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) into the targets. They have mainly been used for cancers and infections, but there have been attempts also to apply the aptamer technologies in the field of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and cerebral ischemia.

NEXMOS, headquartered in Yongin, South Korea, is a biotechnology company pioneering to develop innovative DNA-based therapeutics.

Using its own SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential enrichment) technologies, NEXMOS developed and commercialized the DNA aptamer (Aptamin C, also known as NPX031). NPX031 is a single-stranded DNA aptamer that binds to vitamin C (ascorbic acid) with high specificity, allows the entrance of it into the brain, and prolongs its antioxidant effects. 

In the PD animal model, NXP031 increased the plasma concentration of vitamin C and potentiated its antioxidant functions, contributing to the improvement in neuroprotective influence on dopaminergic neurons. Additionally, NXP031 reduced oxidative stress, restored microglial activities, and alleviated cognitive impairment in the rat model of vascular dementia.

With regard to the early diagnosis of AD, NEXMOS, in collaboration with Kyung Hee University, is developing the MRI contrast agent through its aptamer technology targeting one of AD biomarkers, the beta-amyloid oligomers.

Meanwhile, aptamer specific to alpha-synuclein for the treatment of PD that can overcome the limitations (immunogenicity and restricted accessibility) of the antibody therapeutics against alpha-synuclein is under development by other researchers in China. Similar technologies targeting the oligomeric forms or aggregates of beta-amyloids in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are also being developed by multiple groups of researchers abroad.

Related Research Articles

Lee JM, Lee JH, Song MK, Kim YJ. NXP031 Improves Cognitive Impairment in a Chronic Cerebral Hypoperfusion-Induced Vascular Dementia Rat Model through Nrf2 Signaling. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 11;22(12):6285.

Song MK, Lee JH, Kim J, Kim JH, Hwang S, Kim YS, Kim YJ. Neuroprotective effect of NXP031 in the MPTP-induced Parkinson's disease model. Neurosci Lett. 2021 Jan 1;740:135425.

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