Chugai – A*STAR Joint Development Project for Anti-Dengue Virus Antibody Selected as Grant Recipient by the GHIT Fund

30-Mar-2017 Intellasia | BusinessWire | 7:01 AM Print This Post

Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
(TOKYO:4519) and the
Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore (A*STAR)

announced today that a joint research project between Chugai and A*STAR
for an anti-dengue virus antibody has been selected as a grant recipient
by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund). Chugai and
A*STAR have been engaged in the joint research since 2015.

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.”

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.

In order to contribute to the healthcare and health of the people in the
regions where the disease is rampant, which includes many developing
countries, this project seeks to establish treatment methods for dengue
fever such as the early alleviation of the symptoms and prevention of
lethal, severe cases of the disease.

“Dengue research has always been a top priority at SIgN. Our scientists
are working to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and therapies for
dengue, and other mosquito-borne diseases. This has led to the creation
of a Lab-on-Chip for tropical infectious diseases detection and has
helped to explain why certain human skin cells may facilitate the spread
of dengue virus infection,” said Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR.
“A*STAR’s collaboration with Chugai will continue to advance treatment
for dengue and create impactful healthcare outcomes. GHIT’s support for
this public-private partnership is an endorsement of the strength of
this research project to combat one of the world’s major infectious

“Our mission is to ‘dedicate ourselves to adding exceptional value
through the creation of innovative medical products and services for the
benefit of the medical community and human health around the world,’ and
we are implementing initiatives to contribute to global health,” said
Osamu Nagayama, Chairman and CEO of Chugai. “Our project selected for
this grant is the result of the collaboration of our proprietary
antibody engineering technologies and SIgN’s expertise in the biology of
the dengue virus. It is our hope that this completely new antibody will
put a stop to the spread of the dengue virus.”

About Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)
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 AIDS, 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

About Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
Neglected Tropical
Diseases (NTDs) are parasitic, bacterial and viral infections
spread mainly in tropical areas. It has been reported that approximately
one billion individuals are infected with NTDs and half a million people
die each year worldwide. NTDs are quite rare in advanced countries so
that they did not catch world’s attention. Many NTDs are parasitic
diseases and may cause severe physical impairment such as deformity and
blindness. Nonetheless, they can be often prevented or treated.

About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore’s lead
public sector agency that spearheads economic oriented research to
advance scientific discovery and develop innovative technology. Through
open innovation, we collaborate with our partners in both the public and
private sectors to benefit society.
As a Science and Technology
Organization, A*STAR bridges the gap between academia and industry. Our
research creates economic growth and jobs for Singapore, and enhances
lives by contributing to societal benefits such as improving outcomes in
healthcare, urban living, and sustainability.
We play a key role in
nurturing and developing a diversity of talent and leaders in our Agency
and Research Institutes, the wider research community and industry.
A*STAR oversees 18 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and
engineering research entities primarily located in Biopolis and
For more information on A*STAR, please visit

About A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN)
Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), officially inaugurated on 10
February 2006, is a research consortium under the Agency for Science,
Technology and Research (A*STAR)’s Biomedical Research Council. The
mandate of SIgN is to advance human immunology research and participate
in international efforts to combat major health problems. Since its
launch, SIgN has grown rapidly and currently includes 200 scientists
from 25 different countries around the world working under 18 renowned
Principal Investigators. At SIgN, researchers investigate immunity
during infection and various inflammatory conditions including cancer
and are supported by cutting edge technological research platforms and
core services.
Through this, SIgN aims to build a strong platform
in basic human immunology research for better translation of research
findings into clinical applications. SIgN also sets out to establish
productive links with local and international institutions, and
encourage the exchange of ideas and expertise between academic,
industrial and clinical partners and thus contribute to a vibrant
research environment in Singapore.
For more information about SIgN,
please visit

About Chugai
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.
In Japan,
Chugai’s research facilities in Gotemba and Kamakura are collaborating
to develop new pharmaceuticals and laboratories in Ukima are conducting
research for technology development for industrial production. Overseas, Chugai
Pharmabody Research
based in Singapore is engaged in research
focusing on the generation of novel antibody drugs by utilizing Chugai’s
proprietary innovative antibody engineering technologies. Chugai
Pharma USA
and Chugai
Pharma Europe
are engaged in clinical development activities in the
United States and Europe.
The consolidated revenue in 2016 of
Chugai totaled 491.8 billion yen and the operating income was 80.6
billion yen (IFRS Core basis).
Additional information is available
on the internet at

About Chugai Pharmabody Research Pte. Ltd. (CPR)
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.
information is available on the internet at


Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Media Relations, Corporate Communications
Tel: +65-6517-1966
E-mail: [email protected]

For Media
Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Media Relations Group, Corporate
Communications Dept.,
Koki Harada
Tel: +81-3-3273-0881
[email protected]
US media

Chugai Pharma USA Inc.
Casey Astringer
E-mail: [email protected]
European media

Chugai Pharma France SAS
Nathalie Leroy
E-mail: [email protected]
Taiwanese media

Chugai Pharma Taiwan Ltd.
Susan Chou,
Osamu Kagawa
Tel: +886-2-2715-2000
E-mail: [email protected]

Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Relations Group, Corporate Communications Dept.,
Toshiya Sasai
E-mail: [email protected]


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