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Chugai, A*STAR to develop therapeutic Ab against COVID-19

08 May 2020 | News

Chugai’s proprietary antibody engineering technologies and A*STAR’s immunology and translational research capabilities to create a clinical antibody candidate

Photo credit:  A*STAR and Chugai Pharmabody Research Pte. Ltd. (CPR)

Photo credit: A*STAR and Chugai Pharmabody Research Pte. Ltd. (CPR)

Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Tokyo announced that Chugai Pharmabody Research Pte. Ltd. (CPR), a research center of the Chugai Group in Singapore, has begun joint research on a therapeutic antibody to fight COVID-19, with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore.

This joint research project focuses on a potential therapeutic antibody for COVID-19 that was discovered by a research team led by Senior Principal Investigator Dr Cheng-I Wang at A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN). candidates were isolated from a high diversity synthetic human antibody library and showed high potency in neutralizing live coronavirus which causes COVID-19. CPR will lead the antibody optimization with its world-leading antibody research capability, and by applying Chugai’s proprietary antibody engineering technologies, create a clinical candidate antibody.

“Our history of collaboration with Chugai has set the stage for our latest partnership, which leverages A*STAR’s capabilities in immunology and translational research, and Chugai’s expertise in innovative pharmaceuticals,” said Professor Ng Huck Hui, Assistant Chief Executive, Biomedical Research Council, A*STAR. “We are very pleased to collaborate with Chugai in this dedicated endeavour to develop potential treatments for COVID-19,” he added.

“Chugai’s mission is to realize innovation for the benefit of the medical community and human health around the world. Our antibody research capabilities are at the heart of our commitment to innovation as demonstrated by creating innovative medicines and developing proprietary technologies,” said Dr Osamu Okuda, Chugai’s President and COO. “The outbreak of novel coronavirus is the most devastating threat that people around the world have faced for decades. I am thrilled that Chugai can join forces with A*STAR in the global effort to help address this threat, and hope that together we can open the possibility of clinical use as soon as possible.”

Successful past collaborations between A*STAR and Chugai have included an antibody research project in dengue fever under a grant by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund).


Image CaptionLeft: Scientists from A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), led by Senior Principal Investigator, Dr Wang Cheng-I (front, centre). Right: Chugai Pharmabody Research research lab in Singapore where researchers are conducting COVID-19 antibody research.

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