Past Projects – Lean Launchpad Singapore
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Past Projects

LIFE SCIENCES

  • 2020
    LLPSG NUS8
    CureVision

    Duke NUS Medical School

    PI: Prof. Karl Tryggvason

    Team: Tay Hwee Goon, Guo Jing, Swarnaseetha Adusumalli

    Dry age-related macular degeneration and inherited retinal diseases are the main causes of blindness that involve irreversible photoreceptor loss in  the macula. Our aim is to replace the damaged/loss of host cells with our functional and clinically-safe photoreceptors. However, the existing  methods for generating photoreceptors contain huge limitations. Here, we have a retina therapeutic cell therapy that contains photoreceptor  progenitors differentiated from human embryonic stem cells. Our simple and innovative method is xenogen-free and chemically-defined which works  towards patient compliant GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards. The promising results from our pre-clinical animal models show that the  transplanted cells could improve visual response, potentially promoting retina function. These results may pave the way for cell therapy treatment of  macular degeneration. To restore central vision loss for patients with dry aged related macular degeneration or inherited retinal disease using  photoreceptor cell therapy.

  • 2020
    LLPSG NUS8
    Respon Therapeutics

    NTU, SCBE

    PI: Asst Prof Dang Thuy Tram

    Team: Nguyen Tri Dang, Truong Thi Hong Anh, Pham Minh Vuong, Nguyen Sophie, Aw Min Hui Hilda, Leoi Wei Ning Melisa

    Respon Therapeutics has developed a hydrogel platform with on-demand release of drugs for inflammatory disease applications. The key capability of this  system is the controlled release of drugs that can result in less frequent drug administration, minimised side effects and lower drug wastage. The technology  has been validated in the laboratory in both in vitro and in vivo studies and is currently at Technology Readiness Level 4. Through extensive interviews with  clinicians worldwide, the team has investigated the applications for inflammatory arthritis and chronic wound.

    On next steps, the team continues to explore other disease areas with a need for such platforms and seek for opportunities to work with clinical collaborators  on commercialisation potential. Concurrently, the team will also work on pre-clinical validation on its platform and seek partnership opportunities with  biopharmaceutical companies.

  • 2020
    LLPSG NUS8
    SilkSkin

    NTU, MSE

    PI: Prof Chen Xiaodong

    Team: Cui Yajing, Guo Xintong, Leow Wan Ru

    The market of personal care products is highly fragmented and competitive. Product development and innovation are key measures to gain a  competitive edge in the market. Performing tests on these products are essential in product development for product evaluation and regulatory  purposes. However, animal study is currently widely banned, panel test has the drawback of wide personal bias and, current commercial skin  mimics are expensive yet their performance is still far from real skin. Fabricated from a natural protein, SilkSkin can provide a cheap but easy and  reliable testing platform that brings more standard and reliable results for high throughput product iteration. Therefore, SilkSkin is able to set the  industrial standard for in-house product testing and speed up new product development. Compared to other artificial-skin testing platform, SilkSkin  has higher relevancy of skin-related testing result to real skin, and SilkSkin can also be customised for various skin types (dry/oily/combined).

  • 2020
    LLPSG NUS8
    NexGen CAR-T

    NUS School of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology

    PI: Prof Nicholas R. J. Gascoigne

    Team: Wu Ling, Wu Liangzhe, Qiu Vicky

    With the advent of revolutionary cell immunotherapy, CAR-T cell therapy, cancer patients see the light of a cure for this deadly disease. Around  80% of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) patients showed a complete response, which is only 30% via traditional chemotherapy. Yet, the  current CAR-T cell therapy is still in its infant stage. We have invented a “signal tweaking” CAR-T (ST-CAR-T) to tackle the most challenging  bottlenecks that hinder the development of CAR-T therapy. ST-CAR-T hinges on the modification of downstream signaling so that redundant TCR  signaling in the CAR-T cells is selectively abolished. This receptor selectivity enables ST-CAR-T cells to become an ‘off-the-shelf’ CAR-T, which  streamlines manufacturing and makes CAR-T therapy more accessible and affordable. Moreover, this signaling modification empowers ST-CAR-T  to be a more targeted and exhaustion-tolerant therapy. So, the application of CAR-T therapy can be unlocked not only in liquid tumour but also in  solid tumor

  • 2020
    LLPSG NUS8
    FormaCyte Therapeutics

    NTU, SCBE

    PI: Asst Prof Dang Thuy Tram

    Team: Chen Yang, Pham Hoang Linh Chi, Tran Minh Phuong Nam, Giovanni Arnold, Tan Rou Jie Vernice,  Teo Wei Min Patrick

    FormaCyte is developing a cell-encapsulating implant to reduce the risk of a fatal drop in blood sugar of insulin-dependent diabetic patients. Our  technology is able to protect therapeutic cells from immune rejection to deliver appropriate dosages of insulin for injection-free management of diabetes  while avoiding the need for immunosuppressant drugs. The competitive advantages of our system are the abilities to prolong survival of the encapsulated  cells and to personalise implant size for individual patients. This platform also has potential applications for the treatment of other protein-deficiency  diseases such as Hemophilia A and thyroid disorders. The team has verified interest in our technology through extensive interviews with endocrinologists,  diabetic patients, and biotech industry leaders in Singapore, US and UK. Its potential application is for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes,  Hemophilia A, thyroid disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

  • 2020
    LLPSG NUS8
    ScarLess

    NTU, SCBE

    PI: Assoc Prof Timothy Tan

    Team: Elaine Moura, Chun Yung Yao, Mohammed Adnan Azam

    Currently, there is no definitive and effective treatment for pathological scars (keloids and hypertrophic scars), which is a significant part of the USD

    17.94 billion (2018, CAGR of 9.9%) global scar therapy market. Patients inflicted with pathological scars suffer from physical, mental and social  comorbidity, and have described themselves to be “desperate for any treatment will actually work”. Scarless, the NTU team led by Prof Timothy Tan,  provides the world’s first clinically effective and pain-free treatment of pathological scars using topical siRNA microneedles. This TRL5 patented  technology comprises of a dissolvable microneedle containing activated siRNA for scar treatment. The microneedle provides painless transdermal  delivery of gene-silencing siRNA to cellular environment, significantly diminishing the production of collagen and achieving scar reduction. Team  Scarless is currently working towards clinical trials with partners from Singapore National Skin Centre and the commercialisation of this disruptive  technology. Treatment and prevention of scars, especially pathological and surgical scars.