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Celltrion says COVID-19 drug cuts risk of severe disease by 70%

A picture shows South Korean pharmaceutical giant Celltrion's Regkirona (Celltrion)
A picture shows South Korean pharmaceutical giant Celltrion's Regkirona (Celltrion)

Results of the final, phase 3 clinical trial of Regkirona, an antibody COVID-19 treatment developed by South Korean firm Celltrion, were presented at a conference in Europe, the company said Tuesday.

According to the presentation made by Oana Sandulescu, an associate professor at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, at the 31st European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Regkirona, or CT-P59, has significantly reduced the rate of progression for severe symptoms and the recovery time.

The ECCMID is one of the most influential conferences in the field of infection, which brings together more than 13,000 colleagues from all over the world.

Sandulescu, who joined the clinical trial, presented results of the phase 3 clinical trial of Regkirona, which was conducted over 1,315 participants from 13 countries around the globe between January and April.

The results showed that Regkirona reduces the risk of cases progressing to severe COVID-19 by 70 percent. Among high-risk groups, the progression rate to a severe case was decreased by 72 percent.

Patients treated with Regkirona recovered in 8.4 days, 4.9 days faster than the placebo group‘s 13.3 days. Among high-risk groups, the Regkirona-treated group recovered in 9.3 days, 4.7 days faster than the placebo group’s 14 days.

Celltrion said it also found that its COVID-19 treatment significantly reduced viral titers in patients, starting seven days after they were treated with the antibody treatment. No severe adverse event or allergic reaction was found, though some mild and temporary reactions have been reported.

The Korean pharmaceuticals firm said it was currently looking into the results as to whether the antibody treatment is effective against COVID-19 variants.

It previously confirmed that its monoclonal antibody treatment Regkirona had shown initial promise in treating patients infected with COVID-19 variants in animal tests.

Celltrion has already confirmed the therapeutic effect of the drug against the South African and Brazilian variants through animal tests. The company is currently on the way to secure preclinical data against the Indian variant by this month.

“Celltrion will speed up drug approval processes in overseas countries based on the results from the phase 3 clinical trial. The company will also make the best efforts to find ample measures to fight against the newly rising variants,” a Celltrion official said.

By Shim Woo-hyun (