Celltrion said on Thursday that the company started to select through screening the most effective antibodies to neutralize the virus. The screening came after the biologics firm completed its first stage development for an antiviral treatment for the COVID-19.
The Korean company said that it is determined to continue the project despite the uncertainty about the COVID-19 vaccine development.
Suh Jung-jin, Celltrion’s chairman, assured that on April 23, he would share with the public any progress or news that the company makes to help prevent the rapid spread of the new coronavirus.
Alongside the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), Celltrion began screening for a second candidate antibody group. The company aims to complete the screening within two weeks.
After proving that the most potent antibody candidate could counteract the virus, the company would begin the mass production of the therapeutics for clinical trials. The firm would also simultaneously conduct non-clinical studies on lab animals.
Researchers noted a promising outcome as the previously identified antibodies demonstrated a higher binding affinity to an antigen than what the company used in past antiviral treatment projects.
Celltrion said that it commits itself to create a therapeutic antibody available for human usage as soon as possible. The company added that it would utilize all available human resources to accelerate the project’s development further.
A Celltrion spokesperson said that with the company’s state-of-of-the-art research and development capabilities of antibody drugs, Celltrion would conduct human clinical administration as early as July. The spokesperson added that they would proceed with the clinical trials in a shorter time than any other pharmaceutical company internationally.
Celltrion said that it would expedite the clinical trials to faster help the global community in battling the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the total number of confirmed cases in the world reached 1,039,166 cases, with 55,092 deaths and 219,019 recovered patients. The United States has the highest confirmed cases of 245,974.