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Celltrion's COVID-19 treatment shows promise in variant cure

Celltrion's experimental COVID-19 antibody treatment, known as Regkirona or CT-P59 (Yonhap)
Celltrion's experimental COVID-19 antibody treatment, known as Regkirona or CT-P59 (Yonhap)

South Korean biopharmaceutical company Celltrion’s monoclonal antibody treatment Regkirona, or CT-P59, has shown initial promise in treating patients infected with COVID-19 variants, the company said Friday, quoting preclinical results from its recent animal test.

Celltrion said it found that the injection of its COVID-19 treatment Regkirona significantly reduced viral titers in 50 experimental mice infected with the South African variant.

The mice injected with Regkirona showed a 100 percent survival rate, with no weight loss, while others in the control group posted only a 50 percent survival rate, Celltrion added.

In April, Celltrion also published preclinical data collected from a joint study that used ferrets infected with the South African variant.

According to the vivo ferret challenge studies, a therapeutic dosage of Celltrion’s Regkirona was able to decrease the viral load in the upper and lower respiratory tracts of the ferrets with the South African variant.

The therapeutic effect of CT-P59 against the South African variant was previously published in the US journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.

The company is currently conducting animal tests to determine the efficacy of Regkirona in treating other COVID-19 variants, including the Brazilian and Indian variants, aiming at releasing related preclinical data as early as next month, officials said.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)

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