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‘Celltrion’s COVID-19 antibody shot will kill virus in 5 days’

Celltrion chairman pledges treatment to become available from year-end

Stock photo of Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin screencaptured from an online press event held in July 2020. (The Korea Herald)
Stock photo of Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin screencaptured from an online press event held in July 2020. (The Korea Herald)
Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin stirred up a storm Wednesday after saying in a radio interview that his company’s COVID-19 antibody treatment will eradicate the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the human body in four to five days from administration and that it will be available for emergency use in Korea starting at year-end.

“In order to put a stop to the pandemic for good, there needs to be both the vaccine and the treatment,” Seo said live on the radio program. “And among treatments, the most potent are antibody treatments, or plasma-derived treatments.”

From a clinical phase 1 trial targeting 18 lightly affected COVID-19 patients, Celltrion’s CT-P59 was shown to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus in four to five days of the drug administration.

The time consumed for full recovery was 44 percent faster in the group of people given the CT-P59 shot compared to those in the placebo group.

Celltrion’s CT-P59 is anticipated to complete the clinical phase 2 trial by year-end according to the plan, Seo said, upon which the company will apply for conditional use approval with the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, should the pipeline provide evidence in safety and efficacy.

“Celltrion has already begun producing the drug for as many as 100,000 people,” Seo said.

Because Korea does not have so many confirmed COVID-19 patients, the drug would be sufficient to cover the nation, according to Seo.

“We will apply for the conditional use approval in December,” Seo said.

“Celltrion is planning to manufacture more CT-P59 to provide for as many as 1.5 million to 2 million people, for overseas supply,” he added.

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