SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Korea Bizwire) – Celltrion Inc. said Thursday that its anti-COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment has confirmed neutralizing potency against the British variant, and the South Korean pharmaceutical giant has also begun developing a neutralizing antibody cocktail treatment.
CT-P59, an anti-COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment, won the country’s drug safety agency’s conditional approval earlier this month, becoming the first locally made treatment for the virus. The drug began to be supplied to local medical institutions Wednesday.
Celltrion announced that CT-P59 successfully neutralizes the virus variant that was first identified in Britain, in addition to the previously identified six genome mutations.
The treatment, however, has demonstrated less neutralizing capability against the South African variant.
The company said it has initiated developing the tailored cocktail therapy of CT-P59 treatment that can actively guard against other kinds of emerging variants, including the South African one.
Celltrion said it aims to complete a second phase clinical trial of the antibody cocktail with CT-P59 within the next six months by using an already constructed antibody portfolio.
Celltion also hinted at developing COVID-19 vaccines as the pharmaceutical giant is already equipped with the relevant technology.
“We are ready to manufacture vaccines,” Celltrion Group Chairman Seo Jung-jin said in an online press conference. “However, it means that the vaccine development should begin when the supply amount of vaccines to our country is late.”
Celltrion is also currently conducting a global phase-three clinical trial of CT-P59, a pivotal part of the study, in more than 10 countries to obtain more comprehensive safety and efficacy results.
Seo said the phase three study is expected to be completed within the next three months.
Celltrion is also considering shortening the time to one hour of CT-P59, which takes the form of an intravenous injection that is directly injected into the vein for 90 minutes.
CT-P59 is administered to COVID-19 patients at higher risk, referring to people aged 60 and older, or with health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high pressure or chronic diseases that affect the respiratory system.