Saturday, July 13, 2024


Apollon Collaborates with Laser Biomedical Research Center of MIT to Develop Continuous Non-Invasive Glucose Monitoring Technology

Apollon Inc., a medtech startup based in Seoul, will collaborate with the Laser Biomedical Research Center (LBRC) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with the aim of developing and conducting clinical trials of non-invasive CGMs using Raman spectroscopy for the next two years.

Dr. Peter So, Professor of Mechanical and Biological Engineering and Director of the MIT LBRC, and Dr. Jeonwoong Kang of the Department of Mechanical Engineering will lead the collaboration. As a result of Apollon's expertise in Raman diagnostics and spectrometer miniaturization, MIT will invite Dr. Youngkyu Kim of Apollon as a visiting scientist.

Dr. Kang published a paper in the prestigious journal Science Advances in 2020 that directly measured glucose concentration without drawing blood by irradiating the skin with laser light. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health and Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. The paper reveals that the preclinical error rate (MARD) was 6.6%, exceeding the performance of existing CGM products. This collaborative research is the first attempt to apply these findings to the human body and aims to make the device small enough to be attached to the body.

Raman spectroscopy identifies substances based on their intrinsic vibrations, which are detected when laser light scatters off of them. It is renowned for its nondestructive and noninvasive material identification capabilities.

Aram Hong, a medtech entrepreneur, founded Apollon in 2021. Its co-founders, Professor Jun Ki Kim and Dr. Miyeon Jue, both from the Asan Medical Center, serve as the company's scientific advisor and chief technology officer (CTO), respectively.

Aram Hong, CEO of Apollon, said, “Signing a joint research agreement with MIT, one of the world's leading universities in this field, is extremely uncommon for a Korean startup, and I believe it is an encouraging step towards the development of the next-generation CGM.”

There have been attempts to develop non-invasive CGMs since the early 2000s, but none have resulted in FDA approval and significant sales. Dr. Jue, CTO, stated that significant advancements in image sensors and miniaturized spectroscopy have only occurred in the past few years and this is an area where we can excel because Korean talents in medical and precision engineering are among the world’s best. Based on the clinical results, Apollon plans to complete FDA approval and commercialization within five years.

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