SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean drugmaker maker Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co. aims to launch a treatment drug for the novel coronavirus early next year, the company’s chief said Monday.
Foistar, an oral protease inhibitor, is currently undergoing phase two clinical trial on COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms. The company aims to release the outcome of the clinical study later this month.
“Our aim is for actual patients to be able to take the drug starting early next year through a conditional authorization or an emergency approval (from drug authorities),” CEO Jeon Seng-ho told Yonhap News Agency.
Experimental drugs under clinical trial are sometimes granted approval for emergency usage from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in cases where diseases are life-threatening and there is no other treatment option.
The approval would mark the world’s first oral COVID-19 treatment.
The oral drug, also known as Camostat, was approved in the country in 2012 for the therapeutic agent in chronic pancreatitis.
Daewoong Pharmaceutical said the drug prevented coronavirus infection in human lung cells and displayed an antiviral effect superior to remdesivir, an experimental drug developed by Gilead Sciences Inc.