Schematic depiction of a COVID-19 Virus
COVID 19 Treatments
Does Singapore have an artificial serum for treating patients infected with COVD-19? REALLY? Read the section on "What is an antibody library?" to find out more about this "serum".
For the latest update see www.aceblaster.com/covidtherapy
Vaccines are for prevention whereas monoclonal antibodies are for treatment of infected individuals.
What if you are infected with COVID and you already have been vaccinated? What then are your choices?
Antibody treatment is one of them and there are two types of antibody treatments. Otherwise it would be just supportive treatments with ventilators and steroids.
One type of antibody treatment is in the form of plasma transfusion from convalescing infected COVID patients. This is what Donald Trump got as a treatment when he was infected with COVID. Singapore helped US President Trump's Covid-19 treatment by using serum from convalescing Singaporeans as reported in the Straits Times.
For general treatments, see CDC guidelines here.
Another treatment is manufactured monoclonal antibodies, essentially a "man made serum". Thus we use the term "Serum for COVID."
Antibody treatment can still be used for infected patients who may or may not have been previously vaccinated.
Picture shows antibodies (Y) attacking a virus.
There is increasing acceptance for the use of monoclonal antibodies for Covid infection in the medical community.
This article has seen be reviewed and edited by corporate communication at ASTAR (Agency for Science Technology and Research). I feel that this article is now credible and reliable and does not overstate its claim.
This outstanding achievement could only have happen in this little red dot of a country.
All the criticism about this tiny country is what makes it work for this major accomplishment.
They say Singapore has a flawed foreign talent program that deprive the locals of opportunities. The truth be told if I have not been invited to Singapore as a foreign talent after having left Singapore for 45 years, this would have never happened.
Singapore is known to be efficient and bureaucratic. This is what makes Singapore has a super hospital system, a world class blood bank, and an efficient organ donor program and the world largest maternity hospital. Without these, we at Humanyx would not have been able to create such a world class antibody library.
Never in my wildest dream that a biotech company Humanyx (human health), I founded in Singapore in 2008, has now resulted in a new potential antibody treatment for Covid-19.
I had lived most of my adult life in Canada and I have been a Canadian citizen for 45 years. I was recruited as a foreign talent to NUS as a visiting professor and stayed on as Adjunct Full Professor at NUS. I have been a Singapore permanent resident since 2004. The foreign talent program actually does work for Singapore in my case.
I in turn recruited another foreign talent, a top antibody scientist from the US as chief scientific officer for Humanyx 13 years ago. This foreign talent at Humanyx independently developed a world class antibody library. He has gone on to be a senior scientist at A*Star. The new potential antibody treatment was discovered entirely by him and his team of talented scientists at A*Star in Singapore using the Humanyx library to develop the monoclonal antibodies for COVID. We are proud that everything from the very start to the discovery of the potential treatment for Covid-19 was entirely done in Singapore and the Humanyx library was instrumental in the process.
This world class antibody library has been well known for its prowess. If you Google search "Humanyx antibody" you will come across many references saying that the library has been used successfully to make monoclonal antibodies for SARS, avian flu and Dengue. Therefore it is no surprise that it is now used for making new potential antibodies to COVID-19. Major collaboration between A*Star and Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan on this COVID antibody has already been announced.
How is it possible for a tiny nation like Singapore to be able to come up with a new potential antibody treatment for Covid-19?
Humanyx a unique Singapore company sourced all its biomaterials entirely in Singapore. Here is the secret sauce that makes the library so powerful:
1. White blood cells from over a thousand donors were obtained from the Singapore Blood Bank with all 4 racial groups represented in addition to Caucasian and African donors. This is made possible with a large central blood bank in Singapore.
2. Placental blood was obtained from KK Hospital in Singapore. KK Hospital is the largest maternity hospital in the world. Placental blood not being exposed to antigens is the winning secret ingredient that made this antibody library naïve, unique and incomparable.
3. Fresh spleen and liver tissues from car accident victims in Singapore was also used. This is only made possible by an efficient organ donor program in Singapore.
The above three features make up the secret sauce resulting in a powerful Humanyx antibody library. Competing antibody libraries do not have these features. This world class Humanyx antibody library is unique to Singapore!
Full consent was obtained for all tissue donations so that future treatment can be used without legal encumbrances. This is another unique feature of this library again thanks to Singapore's highly organized bureaucracy.
As a disclosure, my wife, a native Canadian was a white blood cell donor for the library. Who knows some part of the Singapore monoclonal antibody may actually comes from a native Canadian.
We all in Singapore should be very proud of this outstanding Singapore achievement. Canada should also be very proud for its contributions to this uniquely Singapore achievement.
The company was founded from scratch by myself and I raised all the required funding to start the company from US angel investors. When the library was sold to A*STAR, all the US investors were made whole.
Chan Kwan Ho aka Casey Chan
What is an antibody library?
An antibody library is a collection of antibodies made from human tissues. The unique antibody library from Humanyx contains well over 2 billion different kinds of human antibodies.
To produce antibodies for treatment, one exposes the antibody library to the disease antigens. The antibodies attached to the antigens are then filtered and amplified to produce large quantity of the same kind of antibody called monoclonal antibody. Briefly this is the principle how monoclonal antibodies for COVID are made.
Essentially the COVID-19 monoclonal antibody is a "man made serum" for the treatment of COVID-19.
Serum Antibody Therapy vs. Monoclonal Antibody Therapy
Serum antibody therapy is based on antibodies in the plasma from convalescing patients who had been infected with COVID-19, while monoclonal antibodies are are large quantity of a single type of antibody against COVID antigens produced in the laboratory.
Hospitals collect and purify blood from convalescence donors to make serum antibody therapies for injection. Serum antibodies, are antibodies generated by the body against foreign antigens like COVID proteins. Serum antibodies prepared this way are hard to process and the antibodies are varied.
Both serum antibody therapy and monoclonal antibody therapy are of the same in kind but the difference lies in the quality and quantity.
Monoclonal antibodies generated in a laboratory in large quantities to react against a single antigen type, for example, a receptor or antigen site on the surface of the coronavirus.
Serum antibodies when created naturally are multiple and diverse, whereas monoclonal antibodies are of a single type and specific to the disease antigen.
Serum antibody treatments are often spotty and may have side effects. Monoclonal antibodies, since they are tailor-made for a specific virus antigen, has less adverse reactions as untested molecules for disease treatment.
How soon will monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19 will be available?
The monoclonal antibody from Singapore is being developed and the scientific work published but it is still awaiting clinical trials. The proof of the pudding as to its efficacy and safety still lies in full scale clinical trials.
There are a number of companies working on monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19 such as Eli Lilly and Regeneron.
The new potential therapy like all monoclonal antibodies will still have to undergo clinical trials to verify its efficacy and to ensure that there are no significant adverse side effects.
Monoclonal antibody therapies for COVID-19 will still require FDA approval for general use.