U.S. fund to invest $20M in Korean firm’s anti-coronavirus technology

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SEOUL, Nov. 12 (UPI) — South Korean startup Haim Bio announced that a U.S. fund operated by A&P Partners had agreed to invest $20 million in its anti-coronavirus technology.

Under the agreement announced Thursday, the companies plan to set up a joint venture, Elysium Cell Bio USA, in Virginia.

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Haim Bio CEO Kim Hong-yeoul said A&P Partners made the investment proposal after his research on inorganic polyphosphates was published this year.

In July, a team of global scientists — led by Kim and Massimo Zollo from Italy’s CEINGE Institute — discovered that inorganic polyphosphates inhibit infection and replication of the COVID-19 virus.

The team said that inorganic polyphosphates could be delivered via nasal spray to kill most viruses in infected primary human epithelial cells.

The findings were featured on the front cover of Science Signaling, a family publication of Science journal.

“Subsidiaries of Elysium Cell Bio will be established in South Korea and Italy this month. Talks are also underway with a famous South Korean pharmaceutical company for future cooperation,” Kim told UPI News Korea.

“Through clinical tests in Asia and Europe, we are scheduled to come up with research results for a vaccine and treatments of the novel coronavirus,” he said.

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Elysium Cell Bio USA will be headed by directors designated by A&P Partners. Members also include Kim and Zollo, according to Haim Bio.