A*STAR, NUS, NUH and Sanofi Pasteur join forces to study loss of immunity

A*STAR's Singapore Immunology Network said on Wednesday that it signed a three-year agreement with the National University of Singapore, the National University Hospital and Sanofi Pasteur to begin a Phase IV clinical trial to study age-related loss of immunity.

The number of elderly people in Singapore has increased significantly during the past 10 years, and is expected to increase to 900,000 by 2030. The study seeks to create or improve strategies to sustain the immunity of the elderly population.

The research will be led by Anis Larbi, a principal investigator at SIgN, and use cutting-edge techniques to look at compromised immunity associated with aging.

"Infections account for most mortalities of elderly above the age of seventy, yet there is still no efficient way to sustain immunity in them," Larbi said. "The outcome of the study will give us clues on the approaches we can take to reduce or restore dysregulated immunity in elderly to ensure healthier longevity."

Associate Professor Ng Tze Pin heads the Gerontological Research Programme at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, and will collaborate in the study.

"SIgN has harnessed many partnerships since its inauguration in 2008," Laurent Renia, acting executive director of SIgN, said. "This collaboration signifies a crucial milestone for SIgN as we will be mobilizing most of our expertise in translational research, analytical immunology and complex data analysis for this purposeful project."