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Vol 24, No. 07, July 2020   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
INSIDE INDUSTRY
Tychan Begins Phase I Clinical Trial for Monoclonal Antibody Treatment against COVID-19
Singapore-based clinical-stage biotechnology company, Tychan, completes recruitment and starts Phase I clinical trial of monoclonal antibody specifically targeting SARS-CoV-2.

In mid-June 2020, Tychan launched the first clinical trial testing the use of monoclonal antibodies against COVID-19. Following the approval by the Health Sciences Authority (HAS) in Singapore, the biotechnology company will be evaluating TY027, a monoclonal antibody that specifically targets SARS-CoV-2.

As part of a partnership with various ministries of the Singapore Government, Tychan developed the TY027 monoclonal antibody. It hopes to explore the possibility of using TY027 to treat patients with COVID-19 or discover its potential in slowing the progression of the disease and accelerate recovery.

Phase I of the clinical trial will last over six weeks and is conducted by the SingHealth Investigational Medicine Unit. This phase will evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of TY027 against SARS-CoV-2 infections. Tychan will continue to seek approval from the HSA for TY027 to be administer to a larger population of volunteer patients in subsequent trials as the company reaches key milestones of Phase I. These further trials will establish the efficacy of the monoclonal antibody (mAb).

Tychan developed TY027 through extensive and rapid research, including the use of advanced proprietary computational platform technology, and leveraged prior experience in the successful development of therapeutics for Zika and Yellow Fever.

TY027, made on 25 February 2020 was identified as the most promising amongst several mAbs that demonstrated 100 percent neutralisation against live SARS-CoV-2 viruses in vitro. It has also successfully completed safety studies in animals and other regulatory requirements including a three-week drug stability test. These were all completed in less than four months before this first-in-human infusion.

This four-month timeline is a marked improvement from Tychan鈥檚 previous mAb efforts with Yellow Fever, which took seven months from design to first-in-human infusion, and Zika, which took nine months. Such development typically takes 12 to 18 months. This systematic improvement validates the significant progress of Tychan鈥檚 rapid-response platform. This was made possible by the breakthrough thinking and innovation of its founders Professor Ram Sasisekharan and Professor Ooi Eng Eong and their team.

Teo Ming Kian, Chairman of the Board, Tychan shared that rapid development of a treatment for COVID-19 is the main mission of Tychan. Exemplified by past successes for developing mAbs against Zika and Yellow Fever, he is hopeful that Tychan is able to continue with its fast pace of development for a cure for COVID-19.

Tychan鈥檚 endeavour to build a Rapid Response capability against Infectious Disease Outbreaks with its proprietary technology was first supported by Temasek Foundation Ecosperity and Temasek Life Sciences Lab in the quick set-up of its lab and production facilities, without which this accelerated timeline would not be achieved.

 

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