SEOUL, Aug. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean pharmaceutical and bio-pharma companies are facing criticism that they are racing to boost share prices with half-cooked COVID-19 candidate treatments, and are likely to leave investors out in the cold.
The nation’s pharmaceutical and bio-pharma companies are going all-out to have a higher position on real-time search rankings by churning out a massive amount of unripe news on new COVID-19 drugs and treatments, according to industry sources.
This move aims to boost share prices which, in general, shoot up if company names show up in web portal search rankings.
Against this backdrop, some pharmaceutical companies make announcements even on pre-clinical phase studies, including tests on animals and interim laboratory studies (in-vitro) results.
Among those who are moving heaven and earth with their PR push, a larger part of them at the stage where they have not yet been approved to carry out clinical testing.
At present, 13 clinical trials are underway in South Korea for the development of new COVID-19 medication including 11 drugs and two vaccines.
Most of the clinical trials for the 11 drugs are investigator sponsored trials (IST) or second stage clinical trials.
IST refers to a research-purpose clinical trial being carried out with drugs for which the safety and effect have yet to be verified or drugs that are now selling in the market.
In reality, the process of developing new drugs and treatments is a long and tough journey.
After passing the pre-clinical phase of testing on animals, phase 1 clinical trials on humans are carried out with a focus on verifying whether the new drug is safe or not
The effect of the drug is tested fully during the phase 2 clinical stage, which in general takes about one or two years. Only after passing the phase 3 clinical trials, which take three to five years on average, can new drugs receive approval.
According to the Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association, the percentage of new drug candidates which get the green light for commercialization after passing phase 1 clinical trials is estimated at just 9.6 percent.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)