SINGAPORE - Media
OutReach - 19 August 2021 - KYAN Therapeutics, Inc.
(KYAN), a developer of optimised therapeutics, and the Agency of Science,
Technology & Research (A*STAR)'s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
(IMCB), a premier cell and molecular biology institute, have entered into a collaboration
to discover and develop next-generation nucleic acid therapeutics for oncology.
The aim is to develop specific drug combinations that can achieve high clinical
response rates and elicit durable responses.
Nucleic acid therapeutics is an emerging
field of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA)-based therapies
that are able to treat diseases by inducing long lasting effects by targeting
the genes in the genome. This means more effective treatments for diseases such
as cancers. In particular, splice-switching oligonucleotides (SSOs), being
amenable to complete chemical modifications for in vivo stability and
specificity, possess superior specificity and lower toxicity than conventional
small molecule drugs, and exhibit more predictable drug treatment and response
compared to other nucleic acid modalities.
Leveraging on both parties' expertise and
proprietary platform technologies, the collaboration tackles the challenges in
identifying and prioritising effective drug target combos, and developing
therapeutics that are able to selectively affect a particular type of cells
leading to a desirable effect. KYAN brings to the collaboration, proprietary
combination design technology and expertise in cancer therapy, that has been
validated in humans and across multiple diseases. A team led by Dr Dave Keng Boon Wee, Principal
Investigator, at IMCB, has developed an accurate rational design platform empowering
an unprecedented speed of identifying and optimisation of highly specific and
effective SSOs, which will be useful to speed up the drug discovery and the
development process. Leveraging IMCB's extensive experience in optimising SSOs
for high specificity and efficacy leading to clinical translation, IMCB is well
positioned to provide clinically ready SSOs for further development.
the right drug combinations is key for better patient outcomes. We look forward
to working with KYAN to implement the drug target combinations by discovering
and developing precise RNA therapeutics," stated Dr Wee. "This could potentially open up treatment
avenues for more than 50 per cent of
cancer patients that have not responded to existing therapies,
leading to better health outcomes. The partnership also helps to solidify
Singapore's position as a global innovation hub."
With IMCB's expertise in the SSO discovery
process and KYAN's accurate and efficient computational optimisation platform,
the collaboration has already yielded novel insights into how to develop more
effective synthetic lethality treatment approaches. IMCB and KYAN will
synergize their efforts to develop new classes of nucleic acid therapeutics
towards difficult to treat gastrointestinal cancers, beginning with liver
cancer. By focusing on cancers with high prevalence in Asia, this collaboration
seeks to transform how cancer is treated both in Singapore and abroad.
"Being the medical hub of Asia, we hope
that this collaboration could identify alternative treatment approaches especially
for cancers like liver cancer, which has high prevalence in this region but
limited therapeutic options. Having easy access to liver cancer patient samples
in Singapore would aid in stratifying potential patient responders based on the
identified optimal combination of RNA therapeutics" adds Dr Masturah Rashid,
Head of Research and Development at KYAN Therapeutics.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.