TSG Therapeutics Pte. Ltd. (“TSG”) is a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is pioneering first-in-class antiviral medicines to eliminate viral infectious diseases. To date, TSG has validated its drug candidate against various viruses in vitro and is currently exploring in vivo therapeutic models. TSG’s vision is to produce a broad-spectrum antiviral therapy that will change established practices in antiviral medicine and pandemic preparedness.

Viral infections affect billions of people worldwide, and the current COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need to be prepared to counter unknown emerging viral threats. Conventional antiviral strategies based on “one-bug, one-drug” approaches are reactive and fail to address the needs. Also, while a vaccination strategy is important, a potent, broad-spectrum therapy will always be required to supplement it, even when a vaccine becomes available. Hence the effective broadly applicable therapies are urgently needed.

To solve this problem, TSG is developing novel peptide drugs that directly attack viruses through a mechanism that is physically based, rather than enzymatic. This approach has potential for broad activity against a spectrum of viruses based on virus size and curvature of a lipid envelope. It is expected to be applicable to novel recombinant or zoonotic viruses as yet unknown.

TSG’s model targets a feature common to many viruses: the lipid envelope that is essential for the structural integrity of virus particles. This coating around the virus both protects viral particles and contains proteins that enable the particles to attach to and infect the host cells. Destroying the lipid envelope eliminates the virus’s threat, as it can no longer infect the host. Since the lipid envelope is derived from host cell membranes, it is not encoded within the viral genome and hence targeting the viral envelope avoids the risk of drug resistance, a growing concern with many other antiviral therapies. The result is a “one drug, many bugs” model that potentially provides both therapeutic and preventative applications against a diverse spectrum of harmful virus species.

By engineering our antiviral medicines to not only be effective, but also versatile and robust, we are working to respond to emerging viruses, preparing for tomorrow’s viral threats, today.