SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean biopharmaceutical company Celltrion Inc. will supply its antibody treatment for COVID-19 without a profit margin in South Korea, its chairman has said.
Celltrion’s CT-P59 won the South Korean 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.
CT-P59 is administered to COVID-19 patients at higher risk, referring to people aged 60 and older, or with health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or chronic diseases that affect the respiratory system.
Seo Jung-jin, chairman of Celltrion Group, said he plans to “supply the treatment globally after keeping enough supply for all Koreans.”
“Our treatment will be sold without a profit margin in Korea,” Seo said in an interview with Korea Society President Tom Byrne posted Friday on the website of the nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of ties between South Korea and the United States.
In foreign countries, Seo said Celltrion will sell its antibody treatment at lower prices than those of its competitors, adding that Celltrion will offer even lower prices for developing countries.
He said Celltrion is currently in a preliminary discussion with the U.S Food and Drug Administration, adding that the antibody treatment will become available to people around the world, including the U.S. and EU.
Seo said pharmaceutical companies should do their best to put the public’s interest before their own to help the world end the pandemic as soon as possible.
“Drugs developed for the treatment of a pandemic like COVID-19 should not be commercially motivated. It should be done in the public interest,” Seo said.
Seo said Celltrion Group is getting ready to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, if needed.
“If the help we can get from foreign pharmaceutical companies is not fast enough, we will develop a vaccine as well. We’ve already secured candidates,” Seo said.