TOKYO, March 29, 2019 -- Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (TOKYO: 4519) announced today that a joint research project between Chugai and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore (A*STAR) since 2015 for an anti-dengue virus antibody has been selected as a grant recipient by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) for the second time following 2017.
This project seeks to create a new antibody drug against the dengue virus through the collaboration between Chugai Pharmabody Research Pte. Ltd. (CPR), a research center of the Chugai Group in Singapore, and A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN). The GHIT Fund again recognized that the project may contribute to “fight against neglected tropical diseases in developing countries,” and decided on the approximately US$4.4 million grant.
“We are thrilled to support further the development of antibody-based therapeutics by Chugai and A*STAR in order to combat the global burden of Dengue,” said Dr. BT Slingsby, the CEO of GHIT.
“Dengue remains an endemic threat in Singapore, and every year, our hospitals still see cases of serious and life-threatening disease caused by this virus,” said Dr. Benjamin Seet, Executive Director of A*STAR’s Biomedical Research Council. “Through our close partnership with Chugai and the support of the GHIT Fund, we are making good progress in developing an effective antibody against the virus. If we successfully bring this into the clinic, it will save many lives.”
“Chugai aims to contribute to solving social issues through innovation, centered on innovative new medicines,” said Motoo Ueno, Deputy Chairman of Chugai. “In order to improve health of people affected with neglected tropical diseases around the world, we will further proceed preclinical research with A*STAR, aiming to start clinical study as soon as possible.”
With a view to contributing to the healthcare and health of the people in the regions where the disease is rampant, which includes many developing countries, this project accelerates its efforts to establish treatment methods for dengue fever such as the early alleviation of the symptoms and prevention of lethal, severe cases of the disease.
Chugai - A*STAR Joint Development Project for Anti-Dengue Virus Antibody Selected as Grant Recipient by the GHIT Fund
Press release issued on March 30, 2017
About Chugai - A*STAR Joint Development Project for Anti-Dengue Virus Antibody
This project was born through the collaboration of Chugai Pharmabody Research Pte. Ltd. (CPR), a research center of the Chugai Group in Singapore, and A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN). The dengue virus that causes dengue fever is known to have four different serotypes. SIgN researchers identified a new human antibody that is highly effective in neutralizing the activity of all four dengue virus serotypes, and CPR applied Chugai’s proprietary antibody engineering technologies to optimize the antibody. This project seeks to create a new antibody drug against the dengue virus. It has been selected to receive US$5.3 million grant based on its recognition by the GHIT Fund for contributing to the “fight against neglected tropical diseases in developing countries in 2017.
About Dengue Fever
Dengue fever is a mosquito transmitted febrile disease that is rapidly spreading in tropical and subtropical urbanized regions. In severe cases, it progresses to the serious and lethal dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome. This disease is a leading cause of hospitalization and death in many countries in Asia and Latin America. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 390 million people globally are infected with the dengue virus each year, and although an estimated 500,000 of these cases become severe and require hospitalization, there is currently no effective drug for the treatment of dengue fever.
About Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)
The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) was established in April 2013 with contributions from the Japanese government, pharmaceutical industries, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Nations Development Programme with the aim of taking control of infectious diseases spreading particularly in developing countries such as tuberculosis, malaria, and “neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)”. The GHIT Fund supports and promotes the research and development of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic drugs by promoting collaboration between Japanese and overseas research organizations and providing grants.
Detailed information on the GHIT Fund is available on the Internet at https://www.ghitfund.org/.
Chugai Pharmaceutical is one of Japan’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies with strengths in biotechnology products. Chugai, based in Tokyo, specializes in prescription pharmaceuticals and is listed on the 1st section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. As an important member of the Roche Group, Chugai is actively involved in R&D activities in Japan and abroad. Specifically, Chugai is working to develop innovative products which may satisfy the unmet medical needs, mainly focusing on the oncology area.
Additional information is available on the internet at https://www.chugai-pharm.co.jp/english.
About Chugai Pharmabody Research Pte. Ltd. (CPR)
Chugai Pharmabody Research (CPR) was established in Singapore as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“Chugai”), Japan’s leading biopharmaceutical company, in January 2012. CPR conducts research on the generation of new antibody drug clinical candidates focusing on high value First-in-Class and Best-in-Class antibodies for a variety of targets, and utilizing Chugai’s proprietary innovative antibody engineering technologies such as the “Recycling Antibody” technology and the “Sweeping Antibody” technology. Since 2018, they are also working on the development of novel antibody engineering technologies as well.
Additional information is available on the internet at https://www.chugai-pharmabody.com/.
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