Singapore HSA approves phase I/II clinical trial for precision T-cell receptor immunotherapy
By Rajaneesh K Gopinath
By welcoming its first ever TCR engineered T-cell therapy for liver cancer, Singapore has made history in August. The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) of Singapore approved the phase I/II multicenter clinical study for LioCyxTM, a personalized Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) specific T-cell receptor (TCR) immunotherapy against Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Multiple trials have shown promising results in terms of its safety and efficacy.
Developed by Lion TCR, a Singapore-based clinical stage biotech company, LioCyxTM is the product of its scientific founder Prof. Antonio Bertoletti, a world-famous liver cancer clinician scientist. Lion TCR has licensed its engineered T cell technologies from Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore and Technical University of Munich. The TCR-T and CAR-T cell therapies were developed by Prof. Antonio Bertoletti’s and Prof. Urlike Protzer’s labs respectively. The company now has the distinction of developing the first HBV-specific TCR T-cell therapy against HCC in the world. It has manufacturing and clinical trial operations in China and Singapore. It recently raised 20 million US dollars to advance the clinical trials of LioCyx™ and is currently all set to begin patient recruitment at the National University Hospital (NUH) of Singapore.
This is a significant milestone in precision oncology as Liver cancer is the third deadliest cancer in the world with limited treatment options. Post-liver transplantation, there is currently no effective treatment available for patient’s suffering from relapsed liver cancer. Hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related liver cancer, constitutes around 80 percent of liver cancers in Asia and a majority of the 800,000 new cases in the world are diagnosed in the Asia Pacific regions such as China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and Singapore.
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