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Chemistry Class


The ZQ lab is led by Professor Qi Zeng, Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR, Founder of ImmuSG (IISG) an A*STAR spun-off biotech company . Our team pioneered the use of monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy to target the intracellular phosphatase PRL3, which was discovered in 1998 by Prof Zeng.


PRL3 was first linked to cancer metastasis by the Vogelstein Lab in 2001. Since then, research has firmly established PRL3 as a key oncoprotein that has pleiotropic effects, regulating many cancer-related signaling pathways and promoting several hallmarks of cancer.

Importantly, PRL3 protein is highly expressed across a broad range of cancer types (~80.6%) and is tumor-specific and not found in matched normal tissue. Hence, targeting PRL3 can be a viable strategy for many cancer types, and avoids undesirable side effects.

PRL3-zumab, the first-in-class humanized monoclonal antibody, is a product of more than 20 years of rigorous basic and translational research on PRL3. This unconventional immunotherapy approach challenges the dogma that only extracellular tumor antigens are amenable to mAb therapy. 

In Dec 2015, with support from A*STAR, Intra-ImmuSG (IISG) was spun-off as a biotech company ( PRL3-zumab has successfully completed Phase I clinical trials and is currently in Phase II trials in Singapore, USA, China, and Malaysia.

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