Co-Founders of KYAN Featured on The Straits Times

Co-Founders of KYAN Featured on The Straits Times

Dean Ho and Edward Chow, both Co-Founders of KYAN Therapeutics have been featured on The Straits Times sharing their journey on driving novel therapies forward.

One patient, one treatment. Tailored for him and only for him.
Two lifelong buddies who moved to Singapore from California have created an artificial intelligence system which, they believe, optimises drug selection and calculates the optimum dose of one, or a combination of drugs, that any individual needs to treat a disease, with maximum results and minimum side effects.

Professor Dean Ho, director of the Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology (Sinapse) at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and Assistant Professor Edward Chow, principal investigator at the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, say they have had positive results in small-scale clinical trials so far.

More than 30 patients have been treated successfully with QPOP (Quadratic Phenotypic Optimisation Platform) and CURATE.AI, as the complementary platforms are called, for cancers and infectious diseases, as well as for cognitive training to improve brain function, according to NUS.
And the research team is currently recruiting 195 participants for three different clinical trials, in multiple myeloma – a form of cancer – liver transplant immunosuppression and cognitive training.

Both platforms work in tandem: QPOP uses cells and animals to select the drugs that give the best possible efficacy and safety, while CURATE.AI modulates the dosing of these combinations in patients for the best results for the entire duration of care.At the heart of the process is the discovery that for every disease and patient, drugs and doses are tied to efficacy and safety in a manner which can be mapped out in a horseshoe-shaped curve called a parabola.

Using this formula, the dosages are plotted using each patient’s own clinical data, based on blood tests for instance, for indicators of efficacy and safety, as well as biomarkers that indicate cancer progression and toxicity.
The programme continuously assesses how well the patient responds to the drugs, with the doses adjusted accordingly. This information is used to create an individualised CURATE.AI profile, or map, that identifies the drug doses which allow the best possible treatment outcome at any given point in time.

“We’re addressing what had previously been thought to be impossible,” said Dr Ho. “We’re finding out the right drugs at the right dose for an individual in a sustained fashion.”

Patients are generally given medication at standard doses, Dr Chow explained, but a one-size-fits-all approach does not work because each individual is different and responds to drugs differently. The studies, Dr Ho noted, have highlighted how profoundly dosing can affect the efficacy and safety of treatment, and sometimes in surprising ways.

In one case, the AI platform suggested halving the drug dosage for a patient with prostate cancer, counter to what traditional cancer treatment would prescribe – which would generally be to increase drug dosages until they no longer work, followed by exploring other treatment options.

But under the new regime, he noted, the patient had the lowest levels of the tumour marker observed during the clinical study, and his tumour lesions shrank. He is currently back to his normal, active lifestyle. Doctors familiar with the platform are enthusiastic about its potential.

Dr Ali Zarrinpar, an associate professor in the division of transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine, worked with the team several years ago to do a preliminary exploratory trial, comparing standard-of-care dosing of an immunosuppression drug to AI-optimised dosing. This led to positive results and funding from the US National Institutes of Health for a larger study, he said.

“This platform is very flexible and can be applied to a large variety of therapeutic ends,” he said.

“Because it systematically allows for optimisation of multicomponent therapy in fewer tries, it has a huge potential to improve care and personalise treatment.”

Added Dr Steven Rosen, provost and chief scientific officer of leading cancer research and treatment centre City of Hope, who is currently collaborating on a QPOP drug selection project: “Our collaborative work is currently preclinical, but I feel it holds great promise.” In Singapore, Dr Chng Wee Joo (director) and Dr Goh Boon Cher (deputy director) of the National University Cancer Institute are planning to use the platform on a clinical trial with multiple myeloma patients in June.

Dr Chng said that in preclinical work, the team had used the platform to uncover a new drug combination that works in myeloma resistant to Bortezomib, a standard form of treatment. “We will want to conduct a trial using this combination,” he said, adding that another randomised trial of the platform’s predicted combination versus standard treatment chosen by a physician was in the works.

Added Dr Goh: “The strategy to select and dose patients with AI platforms is extremely exciting, and aims at better precision, which has potential to improve outcome, and save costs.”


Dean Ho, Co-Founder of KYAN Therapeutics has been Elected a Member of the Prestigious NAI

Dean Ho, Co-Founder of KYAN Therapeutics has been Elected a Member of the Prestigious NAI

KYAN is proud to announce that our Co-Founder, Prof. Dean Ho, has been elected a member of the prestigious National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

He is the first NUS academic to be elected to the NAI. Prof. Ho is being honored for his visionary role in bringing CURATE.AI to the clinic, dramatically enhancing patient treatment outcomes compared to standard of care approaches in the areas of oncology, transplant medicine, and other indications. These advances serve as a foundation for KYAN’s clinical and revenue-stage progress in the use of AI to prospectively optimize patient interventions. According to a press release by the NAI, this year’s honorees include more than 25 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes; 5 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology & Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science; and 3 Nobel Laureates, among other awards and distinctions.

Read more here.

Trethera Corporation and KYAN Therapeutics announce collaboration to develop artificial intelligence-driven optimization of solid cancer combination therapy

Trethera Corporation and KYAN Therapeutics announce collaboration to develop artificial intelligence-driven optimization of solid cancer combination therapy

LOS ANGELES and SINGAPORE, Oct. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Trethera Corporation (Trethera), a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing novel drugs targeting cellular nucleotide metabolism for the treatment of cancer, and KYAN Therapeutics, an artificial intelligence-based drug development firm, announced an agreement to collaborate on preclinical studies evaluating up to four different tumor types beginning this year leveraging their unique expertise to develop best-in-class combination therapies addressing unmet needs in solid tumors.

Under the agreement both companies will evaluate the solid tumor responses to various novel combination therapies and dosing seen with Trethera’s compound TRE-515.  “This venture  helps Trethera to intelligently and efficiently explore the utility of our IND approved drug TRE-515 across a wide range of tumors, doses, and drug combinations,” said Kenneth A. Schultz, M.D., Trethera’s Executive Chairman. “Our team is excited about developing the first therapeutic to target the salvage pathway of nucleotide synthesis, a metabolic pathway that may contribute to the progression of a variety of tumors.”

Founded by highly regarded UCLA faculty, Trethera focuses on pathways controlling cancer nucleotide metabolism.  TRE-515, a first-in-class inhibitor of deoxycytidine kinase (dCK), is an orally administered small molecule that has demonstrated activity in preclinical models treating a variety of tumors, both in monotherapy and when in combination with certain FDA approved drugs.

KYAN was initiated by a team of visionary leaders from NUS and UCLA that has successfully taken its proprietary portfolio of AI platforms through clinical validation. By uniquely demonstrating that globally optimized efficacy and safety can be achieved at each stage of drug development, from in vitro through preclinical and clinical validation, KYAN’s technology systematically identifies AI-driven novel drug combinations that are realized independently from conventional approaches. KYAN’s deterministic approach has led to scientific success within multiple indications tackled to date, in globally optimizing drug combinations for both composition and dosage. As such, KYAN collaborations may accelerate a biopharma company’s pathway towards first-in-man studies.

“KYAN is thrilled to be embarking alongside Trethera on this exciting collaboration,” said Dean Ho, Ph.D., KYAN Co-Founder. “Trethera’s research team has deep experience within DNA synthesis pathways and oncology therapeutic discoveries.  Combining TRE-515 with KYAN’s powerful AI optimization platforms may lead to best-in-class drug combinations that improve solid cancer treatments,” added Ho.

About TRE-515 TRE-515 is a first-in-class preclinical drug that inhibits deoxycytidine kinase (dCK), the rate-limiting enzyme in the deoxyribonucleoside salvage pathway, one of two biosynthetic pathways that generate the DNA precursors, the other being the de novo pathway.  Certain cancer cells may appear preferentially dependent on the salvage pathway for nucleotides to support tumor growth. Trethera has developed TRE-515 for use as monotherapy or in combination with de novo pathway inhibitors, to precisely target a metabolic vulnerability of these cancer cells. This approach holds the potential to improve treatment efficacy and minimize the development of drug resistance. 

About Trethera Corporation Trethera is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing novel treatments for cancers with high unmet needs. For more information, visit

About KYAN Therapeutics, Inc. KYAN Therapeutics is a clinical-stage artificial intelligence company leveraging its proprietary technology platforms to transform the way patients are treated and therapies are developed. KYAN is able to revolutionize the drug development and dosage optimization processes and has multiple pipeline combination therapies in development for oncology and infectious diseases. KYAN de-risks and  dramatically accelerates the drug development process, identifying novel combination therapies with unprecedented efficacy and safety. KYAN’s clinically-validated platforms are uniquely disease mechanism and indication agnostic.

Note on Forward-Looking Statements All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that Trethera or KYAN  expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Although Trethera and KYAN believe that Trethera and KYAN have a reasonable basis for the forward-looking statements contained herein, Trethera and KYAN caution that such statements are based on current expectations about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and factors relating to medical research, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond their control, that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this press release. These potential risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the extent to which the joint research to be conducted by Trethera and KYAN pursuant to the Development Collaboration Agreement will result in the development of any novel cancer therapies; and whether Trethera would obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to commence human trials or commercialize TRE-515 or any novel therapies resulting from such research.  You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements in this press release, which speak only as of the date hereof. Trethera and KYAN do not undertake any obligation to update, amend or clarify these forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities law.