Drugmakers brief development progress of Covid-19 treatments at ‘Bio Korea 2020’


Biopharmaceutical companies introduced their development progress of Covid-19 treatment during the Invest Fair at “Bio Korea 2020” on Monday.

Celltrion Vice President Chang Shin-jae said that the company’s antibody therapy in development could immediately neutralize the Covid-19 virus. When the antibody is administered to a healthy person, it can prevent coronavirus infiltration from outside for two to three weeks, which is the half-life of the antibody, he claimed.

Celltrion Vice President Chang Shin-jae introduces the development process of the company’s antibody treatment against Covid-19, as part of the online “Bio Korea 2020” conference on Monday.

“The antibody could be effective for medical workers who treat patients as well as those who have to fulfill their duty urgently despite a high risk of infection,” Chang said.

Celltrion’s antibody treatments are less likely to cause side effects compared to chemical drugs, and the company is developing based on two advantages: preventive effects and low probability of side effects, he added.

Immunemed CEO Kim Yoon-won said that the company would conduct phase 2 clinical trials of its Covid-19 drug, HzVSFv, with a small group of two to 24 patients at three local schools — Yeungnam University, Chungnam National University, and Keimyung University.

After completing the planned study, the company is preparing to get approval for other clinical trials on more than 25 people. Kim said that it would also carry out clinical trials in Italy in the latter half of this year.

Immuemed had been developing HzVSF as a treatment for influenza and hepatitis B. The drug is being used to treat severe Covid-19 patients after obtaining the approval only for treatment. Unlike the general permit system, treatment-only approval is for patients who do not have proper therapies. The company has to carry out separate clinical trials for commercializing it.

Solgent, the first domestic test kit developer to be registered by the U.S. government as a procurement company for Covid-19, also revealed its export plans.

“Solgent is supplying diagnostic kits to 54 countries around the world, and we are planning to acquire official authorization for long-term contracts from a U.S. federal agency,” Solgent CEO You Jae-hyung said.

Bio Korea 2020 began on Monday and will continue through Saturday. The event is held online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Aside from the special Covid-19 session, the convention offers 24 sessions covering topics ranging from Alzheimer’s and antibodies to regenerative medicine with 93 experts from home and abroad making presentations.


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