Celltrion Healthcare has inked supply contracts for its COVID-19 antibody treatment Regkirona with nine European countries as of Monday, the company said Tuesday.
Under the contract, Celltrion Healthcare, an affiliate of local biopharmaceutical company Celltrion, plans to roll out an initial supply of 150,000 vials of Regkirona to the countries before the end of the year. The amount is enough to treat 50,000 people.
More supply orders of the antibody are expected to be placed in consideration of the rates of virus spread in the countries and the time when the initial supplies are used up, the company said.
Celltrion Healthcare did not disclose the names of the nine countries.
The South Korean biopharmaceutical company said the export negotiations of Regkirona with 47 other countries are also picking up pace so it may roll out more supplies before end of the year. More countries have inquired about the COVID-19 antibody, it added.
Celltrion Healthcare said it expects the uptick in the number of coronavirus cases in Europe will affect the expansion of Rekinora supply.
According to the World Health Organization’s weekly report released last week, the number of newly confirmed COVID-19 patients reached 2.43 million in Europe, up 11 percent from the previous week. The figure took up 67 percent of the total sum of new patients worldwide.
Celltrion Healthcare explained that the accumulated prescription data and Korean government’s recent recommendation for expanded use of Regkirona are also positively affecting securing competitiveness in the global market.
As of Thursday, a total of 25,209 patients at 134 hospitals received Celltrion’s COVID-19 antibody treatment, the company said citing the Central Disease Control Headquarters.
The company added that more data on Regkirona’s effectiveness and safeness will be accumulated following the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency’s decision last week to provide the antibody treatment to patients at nursing hospitals.
Earlier this month, the European Union’s drug agency, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), recommended the approval of Regkirona for adult patients aged 18 and older. Soon after the recommendation, the European Commission authorized the use of the Korean biopharmaceutical company’s COVID-19 antibody treatment.
"Amid concerns over another spread of COVID-19 across the world, Regkirona is getting a lot of attention as it unusually received official approval only a day after the recommendation from the CHMP," an official from Celltrion Healthcare said.
"We plan to actively utilize the strength of Regkirona, which can bring about treatment effects with just one administration and lead to easing the medical burden, to expand global supply and will continue to communicate with the market by informing additional supply contracts and follow-up progress."
By Kan Hyeong-woo (firstname.lastname@example.org