Celltrion's headquarters in Songdo, Incheon (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
South Korean pharmaceutical giant Celltrion has started a phase 1 clinical trial of an inhalable form of COVID-19 treatment Regkirona in Australia, according to industry sources Friday.
The sources said Celltrion’s US-based partner, Inhalon Biopharma, started administering the drug this month, following a regulatory approval from Australian authorities in August. In the first-stage study, 24 volunteers will be given a nebulized form of Regkirona, which can be inhaled through a mouthpiece or a mask.
The phase 2 trial is to start within this year.
Celltrion said the company is in talks with the Australian government to speed up commercialization of the new COVID-19 treatment.
Celltrion, which has partnered with Inhalon Biopharma since July last year, says the inhaled therapy can be used in treating not only COVID-19 patients but also asymptomatic patients and those who had close contact with those infected.
Together with the rapid antibody diagnostic test kit DiaTrust, it would help reduce the load on the health care system, the Korean drugmaker said.
By Shim Woo-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org