SEOUL -- Celltrion, a South Korean bio firm involved in a state project to find the treatment of COVID-19 patients, vowed to make preparations for the mass supply of therapeutic antibodies for emergency domestic use by the end of this year. The first-stage clinical test of Celltrion's antibody treatment was completed in August.
Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin said in a conference hosted by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on September 7 that his company is ready to carry out Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for CT-P59 in late September. The company aims to complete Phase 3 clinical trials in May next year.
"If outstanding efficacy and safety are confirmed in Phase 2, we will seek approval for emergency use at the end of the year," Seo said. "We will begin large-scale production this month in advance to enable mass supply as much as is required in our country," he said, vowing to make preparations for quick use in South Korea.
Many companies are in the race to develop antibody and plasma treatment drugs, but South Korea is "one of the most powerful countries in terms of development speed, the speed of clinical trials and production capacity," Seo said.
South Korea has unveiled a roadmap for the treatment of COVID-19 to develop plasma treatment by the year's end as well as antibody treatment and vaccines next year. The Korea National Institute of Health, a state research body, has selected Celltrion as a cooperation partner to develop vaccines and medicine. In an evaluation test, Celltrion's antibody treatment was found to be effective in neutralizing the mutated strain of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
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