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VM202 is ViroMed’s flagship product in biologics targets to enter the market with high unmet medical needs such as cardiovascular and neurological disease. It is a DNA-based medicine designed to express two isoforms of the protein called hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). HGF is well known to induce the formation of new blood vessels and the growth and regeneration of nerve cells. Currently, VM202 is being tested for 4 major cardiovascular or neurological diseases.
Product code Target disease Target market Development status
VM202-DPN Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy US Phase III (Ongoing)
Korea Phase II (Completed)
VM202-PAD Chronic Non-Healing ischemic foot Ulcer in diabetes US Phase III (Ongoing)
Critical Limb Ischemia China Phase III (Submitted)
VM202-ALS Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis US Phase II (Approved)
VM202-CAD Acute Myocardial infarction Korea Phase II (Ongoing)
Therapeutic Function
VM202 is a DNA-based drug that is designed to produce two isoforms of HGF (hepatocyte growth factor), HGF728 and HGF723. When VM202 is delivered to the affected area by a single intramuscular injection, this drug enters a small portion of the surrounding muscle cells. These cells then simultaneously produce the two isoforms of HGF proteins, which are subsequently secreted and bound to the cellular receptor called c-Met present on the surface of neighboring endothelial, smooth muscle, or neuronal cells. This interaction activates the c-Met pathway, triggering a series of biological reactions including angiogenesis and prevention of cardiac remodeling. In the case of both CLI and CAD, the development of new blood vessels around the occluded arteries would improve blood flow to the affected areas. This would lead to increased perfusion and wound healing. In the case of PDPN, microvasculature will be restored, and this would allow the supply of much needed oxygen and nutrients to the nerve cells and the removal of toxic metabolites, thereby aiding in survival of the nerves. HGF can also function as a neurotrophic factor. Sympathetic neurons express both HGF and its cognate receptor. When VM202 is injected along sural, peroneal, and saphenous nerves and their branches, the localized production of HGF resulting from VM202 injection promotes the growth of sympathetic neurons as well as axonal growth and regeneration.
VM202 showed promising results as DNA medicine for peripheral artery disease when tested on rabbit ischemic limb model for angiographic vessel count, capillary density, and blood flow. The therapeutic potential of VM202 was also tested in a rat and porcine ischemic heart disease model. Consistent with the findings from these models, VM202 considerably increased the capillary density in the heart muscles. The extent of myocardial fibrosis was significantly reduced by VM202 treatment. Moreover, VM202 could significantly increase the physiological function of the heart.

Phase I and II clinical trials of VM202 for PAD and DPN has been successfully completed in the US/Korea. Phase I clinical trial for CAD has also been successfully completed in Korea. Currently phase I/II clinical trial for ALS is ongoing in the US.