Singapore clinical hub to work with Visterra on dengue candidate

Singapore's research agency and Duke-National University of Singapore have signed an agreement to collaborate with U.S. biotech Visterra on getting a promising treatment against dengue fever to the clinical-trial stage.

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) said the trials also would be conducted in Singapore, which is the middle of a region plagued by the virus. There is no specific drug to attack the virus, the agency said.

The work is to be carried out on one of Visterra's antibodies, this one called VIS513, which has shown in animal trials that it is capable of providing a single treatment to slow development of the virus and neutralize all four types of it.

The biotech is to retain global rights for the drug if it makes it through trials, but no other financial arrangements were disclosed. A*STAR is to get partial funding from the Singapore government.

- here's the Visterra-A*STAR release (PDF)