April 6, 2020
April 6, 2020
SINGAPORE, Apr. 6, 2020 — LION TCR joins the efforts to develop new strategies for protection and treatment in COVID-19.
Infection with SARS coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, has now spread in most countries around the world, resulting in a global health crisis.
Lion TCR has been promoting and developing engineered T cells for the treatment of virus-related cancers and viral infection (e.g. Hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma). Lion TCR’s main technology consists of the isolation and characterisation of T cell receptors (TCR) able to recognize fragments of viral proteins presented on the surface of infected or cancer cells. Lion TCR then uses these TCRs to engineer T cells (cells of the human immune system) that are then able to selectively recognize and lyse the virus-infected target cells.
To aid the COVID-19 pandemic response, Lion TCR has decided to use its technology platform to isolate and characterise new T cell receptors specific for SARS-CoV-2 that can be used to engineer T cells capable of detecting and recognising SARS-CoV-2 infected cells.
Recent studies in animal models and in patients infected with MERS-CoV, a coronavirus responsible for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), has shown that T cells play an important role in viral protection. Lion TCR will start to characterise whether the T cell receptors specific for SARS-CoV (the etiological agent of SARS) present in their library have the ability to cross-recognise SARS-CoV-2. Lion TCR then plans to expand their existing library of virus-specific TCRs to include new SARS-CoV-2 specific TCR.
Dr Lu-En Wai, Director of Lead Development in Lion TCR, said: “We are excited to start this new project that fits with our company’s motto “WE HUNT VIRUSES”, and contributes to the global efforts to combat COVID-19. We are planning to produce a broad variety of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells that can be a great research tool to better understand the efficacy of T cell immunity against this new virus. These SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells might also become a new form of prophylactic or therapeutic treatment.”
Lion TCR Licenses and Duke-NUS Medical School ink an exclusive IP licensing agreement for Immunosuppressive Drug Resistant Anti-Cancer T-cells
Dr Wai Lu-En, Director of R&D, represented Lion TCR to share the latest developments to the Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng.
Scientific Founder, Prof Antonio Bertoletti Appointed in Cell and Gene Therapy Workgroup in Singapore
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HSA approval for Phase 1 IND clinical trial for Lion TCR’s lead product LioCyx-M to characterize changes in liver cancer tumor microenvironment
Lion TCR presents two abstracts of Phase 1 clinical trial data for lead product LioCyx-M at the 2020 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting
Companion diagnostic assay for personalised immunotherapy for HBV-related liver cancer featured in A*STAR GIS website
Singapore’s first clinical trial approval for T cell engineered (TCR) immunotherapy for treatment of Liver cancer
Lion TCR receives US$ 20 million to fund its personalized T cell therapy clinical trials against Liver cancer
Scientific Founder, Prof. Antonio Bertoletti and Scientific Consultant, Dr Anthony Tanoto Tan of Lion TCR were awarded the SingHealth Duke-NUS Research Award 1st Prize 2018
US FDA grants Lion TCR two orphan drug designations of T cell therapy against Hepatocellular Carcinoma
New publication – Immunotherapy of HCC metastases with autologous T cell receptor redirected T cells, targeting HBsAg in a liver transplant patient