After $500M IPO, HK inno.N enters exosome drug delivery via Ilias pact

HK inno.N, buoyed by its $500 million IPO, has teamed up with Ilias Biologics to co-develop candidates using exosomes. The partnership brings together Ilias’ exosome platform technologies and HK inno.N’s drug development chops.

South Korea-based HK inno.N made a splash last summer when it reeled in more than $500 million in an IPO in its home country, giving it the financial muscle to fund the development of cell and gene therapies while continuing to grow its vaccines business. Ten months later, the biotech has opened up a new front for its R&D operation by partnering with its compatiot Ilias.

Ilias is built on technologies for enabling the intracellular delivery of large molecules and for improving the targeting of exosomes. The intracellular delivery technology loads proteins into exosomes without irreversibly anchoring the molecule to the membrane, as happens with rival systems. According to Ilias, its approach lifts limits on the range and functionality of the cargo. 

HK inno.N sees promise in the exosome approach. Working with Ilias, the Korean biotech will discover and develop drug candidates using exosomes. The collaboration will focus on treatments for chronic diseases and acute respiratory infections.

Ilias’ internal pipeline is focused on inflammatory diseases, oncology and central nervous system disorders. The most advanced candidate is ILB-202, an exosome loaded with the anti-inflammatory protein super-repressor lκB. 

Ilias recently received approval to start a phase 1 clinical trial of the candidate in Australia. The study will assess the prospect in healthy volunteers to inform its development in the treatment of acute kidney injury associated with cardiac surgery.