Celltrion Group has recently announced positive pre-clinical data for its antiviral antibody treatment of COVID-19 disease. The results have demonstrated a 100x viral load reduction of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. During the animal trials, the treatment also showed an improvement in the lung lesions to the level of normal activity.
This pre-clinical trial in animals is performed in collaboration with College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, which a Korean National University. The study was conducted to analyze the efficacy of the two levels of dosage (high and low) for this antiviral antibody treatment. As compared to the placebo-controlled group, the team of researchers has observed an improvement in the clinical symptom scores such as body aches, cough, and runny rose after the 1st day of treatment. A significant clinical remission was being witnessed from the 5th treatment day.
RT-PCR (reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) measurement & viral diagnosis based on cell culture are used to analyze specimens from the nasal discharge & nasal turbinate (upper respiratory tract) and the lungs. The samples collected from the group that received a high dose of the treatment saw a 100 times reduction of the viral load. Moreover, patients return to the normal lung tissue histopathology from the inflammation within 6 days of lung biopsy. Additionally, there was reduced recovery time among these patients. The placebo-controlled group of patients experienced sustained lung complications and inflammation levels.
The announcement happened along the heels of the identification of the antibody candidates for the antiviral treatment, which was completed in April. The company will conduct additional pre-clinical toxicity and efficacy testing owing to these positive results. It also anticipates beginning the 1st human trial in July.
According to Ki-Sung Kwon, Celltrion’s Head of R&D Unit, the company is leveraging the advanced technologies to develop a novel treatment that can neutralize the virus. It has the capability to scale mass production of the treatment owing to its innovation, expertise, & previous experience with coronaviruses.