SEOUL, July 20 (Korea Bizwire) — Celltrion, a leading pharmaceutical firm in South Korea, said Monday that it is preparing to start commercial production of its antibody treatment for the new coronavirus as early as September.
Celltrion plans to begin the production of its antiviral antibody treatment for the COVID-19 virus at its plant in Songdo, in the western port city of Incheon, when the drug demonstrates therapeutic efficacy and safety in the second phase clinical trial.
“Our goal is to commercialize (the treatment) as soon as possible by focusing on human clinical trials,” Chairman Seo Jung-jin said during an online press conference, adding that the company will seek an emergency approval following the second phase clinical trial.
Celltrion will first begin its phase one clinical trial later this week by enrolling 32 healthy volunteers who have not had a COVID-19 to evaluate the safety of the antiviral antibody treatment.
The initial tests are to be completed by the third quarter, and if they are successful, the pharmaceutical company will subsequently conduct second and third phase clinical trials.
Celltrion anticipates expanding the investigation through between 200 and 300 COVID-19 patients in the second phase and between 2,000 and 3,000 patients in the third phase.
“Our goal is to complete every clinical trial and win approvals for the production by the first half of next year,” Seo said.
Celltrion earlier said that its antiviral antibody treatment showed a 100-fold reduction in the viral load of SARS-CoV-2, the virus known to be causing COVID-19, in an animal testing.