Approval from the Health Sciences Authority
A Singapore-based company has said it will start the human clinical trials next week for a treatment that could slow down the progression of COVID-19 in patients, help them recover faster, and provide temporary protection against coronavirus. Tychan, a Singapore-based biotechnology company said in a media release that it has received approval from the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for the Phase 1 clinical safety trial in healthy volunteers.
The firm has developed TYo27, a monoclonal antibody that specifically targets SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies can be isolated and manufactured in large quantities to treat diseases. Presently, there is no proven antibody-based treatment for COVID-19. There is also no licensed vaccine to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Tychan may become the first firm to start its human clinical trials in Singapore although efforts in developing antibody treatments are underway in Singapore and globally.
Different Ways to Use the Drug
“Depending on the results of the trials, there are different ways this drug can be used,” said Professor Ooi Eng Eong, the co-founder of the firm. It can be used to all COVID-19 patients and prevent them all from getting a severe disease. It can also be used for those who are going to get a severe disease and prevent them then from sliding further in their respiratory function. Furthermore, for those who require Oxygen, the hope is that the drug will prevent them from needing a ventilator, and for patients who are already on ventilators, that they could go off the ventilators. “If the treatment works for COVID-19, then we could change a lot. We could reduce a lot of problems that we face,” Ooi said noting that patients with the severe disease need Oxygen and ventilators, without which they would die.