LSN-DAYLI Partners: Showcasing Innovative Technologies from South Korea

2 Jan

By Claire Jeong, Director of Research, Asia BD, LSN

claireOn several occasions, I have covered the growth of South Korea’s life science ecosystem on our weekly LSN newsletter (1, 2). An increasing number of Korean companies are expanding on a global scale, and the same goes for venture capital investment – investors and large pharmaceuticals are more actively seeking cross-border investment and partnership opportunities.

On that note, I am pleased to showcase DAYLI Partners, a Gold Sponsor of RESI San Francisco and organizer of the “DAYLI Partners Pitch Session” from 11:00 – 11:50 am. DAYLI Partners is one of the most active venture capital firms in South Korea, and one of the few that focuses specifically on bio/healthcare investments. The firm is bringing 6 promising portfolio companies in the therapeutics & diagnostics sectors to RESI, and each company will be presenting a short pitch during this session. This is a very exciting partnership and we hope RESI will serve as a useful platform for these companies and global partners to connect.

If you are attending RESI and interested in seeing what each company has to offer, I highly encourage you to attend the session taking place at the 2nd floor theater of Marines Memorial Club & Hotel. Below are detailed descriptions of DAYLI Partners and their 6 portfolio companies.

DAYLI Partners, based in Seoul, South Korea, is a healthcare-dedicated venture capital firm investing in therapeutics, diagnostics, medical device, and digital health. With ~$200M USD under management, DAYLI Partners invest in every stage of company from seed to pre-IPO, with a flexible ticket size tailored to each company. DAYLI Partners’ investment team consists of clinicians, researchers, healthcare analysts, and fund managers with deep industry and academic networks in the biotech and healthcare space.

Tomocube is an innovative medical device startup in Korea providing 3D holographic microscopy for scientists and clinicians. Tomocube is dedicated to delivering products that can enhance biological and medical research via novel optical solutions that can assist Tomocube in understanding, diagnosing, and treating human diseases.

Current optical microscopes only provide users with a 2D view of their sample. To get a 3D view, users must use expensive and invasive electron or confocal microscopes, which require extensive pre-preparation of samples and are not amenable to dynamic samples such as live cells. Tomocube’s platform enables researchers to measure nanoscale, real-time, dynamic images of individual living cells without the need for sample preparation.

Tomocube’s product, the HT-1, measures 3D refractive index tomograms of live cells and tissues, which will enable researchers and clinicians to: (1) non-invasively observe label-free 3D dynamics of live cells and tissues (2) retrieve unique cell properties including cell volume, shapes of sub-cellular organelles, cytoplasmic density, surface area, and deformability and (3) quantitatively study cell pathophysiology and efficacy of drugs. HT-1 uses states-of-the-art digital holographic techniques, quantitative phase imaging techniques and 3D reconstruction & cell analysis algorithms in order to display high-resolution 3D refractive index tomograms of cells.

HysensBio is a bio-venture company of oral medicine that develops medications for incurable, chronic dental diseases. After investigating for over 20 years, HysensBio identified the world’s first dentin-regenerating peptides. HysensBio focuses on creating customer values in dental and pharmaceutical industries.

HysensBio discovered that CPNE7 protein induces dentin formation. The physiological dentin regeneration was confirmed in vivo. It has developed functional peptides that show the same functions as the CPNE7 protein and has applied for a patent for these peptides in 12 countries. Based on this technology, HysensBio is developing a novel peptide medicine to treat dental caries and dental hypersensitivity.

Y-Biologics is a Korean biotech company focusing on the discovery and development of novel antibody therapeutics based on its human antibody library Ymax-ABL and Bi-specific antibody platform technology ALiCE. It has successfully secured its own human antibody library based on phage display to discover target antibodies and has developed 20 antibody candidates in various modalities. Following early works in discovery, it has recently developed a novel BsAb platform technology: ALiCE, which has the potential to address current unmet needs in fields of immuno oncology.

ALiCE has a strong potential to address these unmet needs by utilizing the unique 2-by-1 structure and the innate cellular assembly mechanism. ALiCE preserves the F(ab’)2 structure of the parental antibody to maintain high binding affinity to the cancer antigen and substitutes the Fc region with a monovalent Fv to induce immune response. Unlike other bispecific antibodies with mutated structures or linkers, ALiCE enables the creation of bispecific antibodies composed only of natural elements.

Y-max ABL has a diversity of 1011. It has its competitiveness in both quantity and quality. Quantity refers to the diversity of the library and the number of distinct elements in the collection, which directly reflects the probability of finding in the library an antibody against a given antigen. Quality means the singularity of elements comprising the antibody library. It is the first human antibody library in Korea, and has successfully discovered antibody candidates.

BIORCHESTRA is developing optimized RNA sequences and RNA delivery technology that deliver mRNA or microRNA regulators effectively and safely. Delivering multiple mRNAs at once into the cytoplasm can mimic multi-protein complexes that function as epigenetic enzymes. Delivered microRNA regulators can be able to control multiple protein function impaired diseases like neurodegenerative disease. Moreover, unlike DNA-targeting therapeutics like gene therapy, which may insert into chromosome permanently, RNA-based therapeutics can be temporary and this leads to reduce the risk of irreversible cellular DNA changes may induce tumorigenesis.

BIORCHESTRA have developed its proprietary Polyion complex micelle, the formulations for the delivery of RNA molecules to specific tissues. The company’s proprietary Polyion complex micelle have several advantages over the existing legacy RNA delivery systems, for example, increased tolerability (stability) and reduced toxicities with repeated administration. It is also homogenous micellar structure which is well quality-control platform. In addition, it easily able to be mounted by target moiety to deliver at desired tissues (Brain, Liver, Blood, Skeletal muscle and Cancer tissue).

Genoplan is 23andMe for insurance. The company provides B2B genetic testing service and genomic-data-driven SaaS CRM for insurance agents and brokers. U.S. market has led the explosion in consumer genetic testing due to its interest in ancestry genetic testing (genealogy). In contrast, ethnic homogeneity and low consumer genomics awareness has resulted in slow growth of Asian markets.

Genoplan’s unique business model of selling its genetic testing kits to insurance agents and brokers has shown great promise to solve this Asian puzzle. Agents and brokers are about four times more likely to make an insurance sale using Genoplan’s solution, compared to not offering the test. In addition, Genoplan’s Saas CRM provides technological support to enhance interaction between customers and insurance agents. Revenue is expected to reach $7 million in 2019, with monthly growth rate of 21% in the past 12 months. With offices in South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan (2020) Genoplan is targeting East and Southeast Asia markets, which is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2024. Genoplan’s total funding to date is $19 million and is currently seeking Series C funding.

Noul is a four-year-old startup biotech startup focused on improving access to modern, more accurate and eco-friendly diagnostic tests for all, regardless of environmental and economic challenges through an automated AI-driven clinical testing platform, miLab.

miLab is a compact, automated, all-in-one diagnostics platform that perfectly replicates the 100-year-old, gold-standard clinical testing method.

The core technology of the miLab platform makes it possible for accurate clinical diagnostics to be conducted without water, without the use of earth-damaging chemicals and harsh reagents, and even without the traditional clinical lab infrastructure and skilled technicians greatly improving access to modern clinical diagnostics.

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