Singapore scientists have created a cure for yellow fever

Singapore scientists have announced the successful completion of the first phase of clinical trials they have developed an experimental drug against yellow fever. The study is published in the New England journal of Medicine.

Yellow fever — a hemorrhagic disease widespread in South America and Africa South of the Sahara, which annually affects about 200 thousand people, from them about 30 thousand die. So far there are no approved treatments for this disease. Although there is a vaccine against yellow fever, it is impossible to give some people because of the risk of side effects.

Medical scientists from the Singapore Alliance Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) for research and technology (SMART), led by Professor RAM Sasisekharan (Ram Sasisekharan) has developed a potential drug — monoclonal antibody directed to the virus.

Usually the development and testing of these drugs takes several years. Researchers from the MIT development and first phase of clinical testing took seven months. Such efficiency, according to the authors, is connected with the application of a new campaign, spent when searching for a potential treatment COVID-19.

They created in just four months, the antibody to combat the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 well-proven and has not identified side effects in healthy volunteers in clinical trials the first phase. At the beginning of August in Singapore, will begin the third phase of its testing.

"Traditional drug development process to linear and take many years, States in a press release from MIT, the words Sasisekharan. — If you need to develop the drug for six months or less, many processes should happen in parallel."

In the process of constructing the antibodies, the researchers used computer methods to identify in the databases of promising antibody candidates based on their ability to bind to the viral envelope of the virus causing yellow fever, and neutralize it. To do this, they studied a functionally important and evolutionarily stable region of the virus.

Then the candidates were tested, analyzed feedback, and continued the search. Development cycle continued until, until there was created an optimized antibody that neutralizes the virus completely.

Scientists have made several small homogeneous batches of the new antibody, named by them TY014 they used for parallel execution of the necessary stages of testing, including the study of the effectiveness of the drug in human cells, determine the most effective dosages, testing for potential toxicity and the analysis of the behavior of the drug in animal models.

While undergoing phase 1A clinical trial in which healthy human volunteers were selected safe dose, in parallel, started a phase 1b, in which researchers evaluated the ability of antibodies to kill the virus.

According to researchers, the monoclonal antibodies is a very promising method for the treatment of many diseases. Currently, several types of monoclonal antibodies approved for the treatment of various cancers. These engineered antibodies help to stimulate the patient's immune system to attack tumors by binding with proteins found in cancer cells.

Many researchers are also working on monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of infectious diseases. In recent years, scientists have developed an experimental mixture of three monoclonal antibodies focused on the Ebola virus, which has shown some success in clinical trials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.