A*STAR & Chugai collaborate on therapeutic antibody to fight COVID-19

Chugai collaborate on therapeutic antibody
Scientists from A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), led by Senior Principal Investigator, Dr Wang Cheng-I (front, centre). Photo taken in early March 2020, before the start of Singapore's circuit breaker period.

SINGAPORE – Addressing the global threat of COVID-19, A*STAR is collaborating with Chugai Pharmabody Research, a research centre of the Chugai Group in Singapore, on joint research on a therapeutic antibody to fight COVID-19. The partnership leverages A*STAR’s capabilities in immunology and translational research, and Chugai’s expertise in innovative pharmaceuticals.

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

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).

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, both organisations were keen to collaborate again to address this global threat.