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GC’s potential blazes through pandemic crisis

GC Pharma applies for phase 2 trial of COVID-19 treatment, GCMS’ operating profit surges 100 times

A researcher checks plasma-derived COVID-19 therapy sample manufacturing (GC Pharma)
A researcher checks plasma-derived COVID-19 therapy sample manufacturing (GC Pharma)
GC Pharma on Wednesday applied to carry out a phase 2 clinical trial of its plasma-derived COVID-19 treatment with the Drug Ministry.

GC Pharma plans to conduct a human test of its GC5131A, targeting 60 patients across Samsung Medical Center, Asan Medical Center, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Korea University Ansan Hospital and Chungnam University Hospital.

According to GC Pharma, GC5131A is a hyperimmune globulin derived out of immuno antibody from recovering COVID-19 patients’ blood plasma. Hyperimmune globulin is a substance that has long been safely used in human bodies for therapeutic purposes, meaning it is safe for GC Pharma to bypass the clinical phase 1 trial that normally targets healthy people to test for any toxicity of the substance.

Excluding drug repurposing COVID-19 treatments, plasma therapy is the fastest drug candidate to enter a phase 2 clinical trial in Korea.

GC Pharma stressed that its treatment is different from regular plasma injections, and that a plasma-derived treatment is one that has separated immuno-protein from the plasma and packed it in a highly concentrated medicinal product.

On the same day, GCMS, a diagnostic kit maker under GC Group, reported an on-year increase of over 100 times in operating profit in the second quarter.

GCMS posted 2.8 billion won ($2.34 million) operating profit in the second quarter, up from 26 million won in the same period a year before, and revenue of 28.9 billion won, up 34.8 percent on-year.

Its net profit marked 3.1 billion won.

GCMS noted that performance of its diagnostic products grew 60 percent over the period and touted the improvements in figures.

GCMS’ COVID-19 diagnostic kit exports begun in June. It was only partially reflected in this quarter’s report and will begin to show bigger impact in the second half of 2020, the company explained.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)
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