Perspective

Tychan announces start of clinical trial for yellow fever treatment

Tychan announced today that its investigational treatment for yellow fever, TY014, has received regulatory approval for testing in Singapore and that the first patient in a phase 1 clinical trial has been dosed with the drug.

Approximately 67 healthy volunteers will be enrolled in the trial. The company said it hopes to complete safety assessments on the monoclonal antibody “in time to intervene if there is a [yellow fever] outbreak in early 2019.”

Yellow fever can be prevented through vaccination, but no treatment or cure currently exists. According to Tychan, it took less than 7 months from initiation for TY014 to be submitted for regulatory approval.

“The unprecedented speed with which TY014 advanced from project initiation to clinical testing makes it possible for us to meet the urgent need for an available intervention should a global yellow fever crisis erupt,” Tychan chairman Teo Ming Kian said in a news release.

According to the CDC, most people infected with yellow fever have either no symptoms of the disease or experience mild symptoms and fully recover. A small proportion develop severe disease, which is fatal in 30% to 60% of cases.

Recent study results demonstrated that one-fifth of a dose of yellow fever vaccine confers long-term protection against the virus, offering more support for the policy of using fractional doses to stop outbreaks — a strategy that has already been deployed after the world’s stockpile of yellow fever vaccine was depleted in 2016 by two related outbreaks in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Tychan announced today that its investigational treatment for yellow fever, TY014, has received regulatory approval for testing in Singapore and that the first patient in a phase 1 clinical trial has been dosed with the drug.

Approximately 67 healthy volunteers will be enrolled in the trial. The company said it hopes to complete safety assessments on the monoclonal antibody “in time to intervene if there is a [yellow fever] outbreak in early 2019.”

Yellow fever can be prevented through vaccination, but no treatment or cure currently exists. According to Tychan, it took less than 7 months from initiation for TY014 to be submitted for regulatory approval.

“The unprecedented speed with which TY014 advanced from project initiation to clinical testing makes it possible for us to meet the urgent need for an available intervention should a global yellow fever crisis erupt,” Tychan chairman Teo Ming Kian said in a news release.

According to the CDC, most people infected with yellow fever have either no symptoms of the disease or experience mild symptoms and fully recover. A small proportion develop severe disease, which is fatal in 30% to 60% of cases.

Recent study results demonstrated that one-fifth of a dose of yellow fever vaccine confers long-term protection against the virus, offering more support for the policy of using fractional doses to stop outbreaks — a strategy that has already been deployed after the world’s stockpile of yellow fever vaccine was depleted in 2016 by two related outbreaks in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Perspective
    Thomas M. Yuill

    Thomas M. Yuill

    The speed with which the monoclonal antibodies were produced is indeed impressive. However, the next step — a test of innocuity — is critical. If proven safe, additional trials will be needed for efficacy. Theoretically, if effective, it could provide useful treatment to decrease severity and subsequent mortality from yellow fever virus infections.

    • Thomas M. Yuill, PhD
    • ProMED virus diseases moderator
      Professor emeritus, department of pathobiological sciences and department of forest and wildlife ecology
      University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Disclosures: Yuill reports no relevant financial disclosures.