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Celltrion’s COVID-19 treatment shows promise against South African variant

Published on 30/04/21 at 10:46am
Scientist with a test tube

Celltrion’s regdanvimab treatment for COVID-19 has shown itself to be effective against the South African variant of the virus, according to preliminary results from a pre-clinical trial.

Initial data has suggested the monoclonal antibody treatment, otherwise known as CT-P59, has a neutralising effect against the South African variant in an in-vivo model.  

CT-P59 demonstrated its ability to reduce the number of cells binding with the receptor binding domain in the virus - meaning the virus was prevented entry into host cells. This was shown in the three mutations of the South African variant. In addition, CT-P59 showed a reduced susceptibility against the South African variant in a live virus and pseudo-virus assay in-vitro study.

Celltrion will soon initiate a global Phase III trial to further evaluate the efficacy and safety of CT-P59. The company recently completed patient enrolment of 1,300 people.

CT-P59 was identified as a potential treatment for COVID-19 through screening of antibody candidates and selecting those that showed the highest potency in neutralising the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Previous pre-clinical studies have shown that CT-P59 significantly neutralises the wild type and mutant variants of concern, including the UK variant of the virus.

Dr HoUng Kim PhD, Head of Medical and Marketing Division at Celltrion Healthcare, said: “We are encouraged by the new data, which reinforces that Celltrion’s CT-P59 treatment could be effective against the South African variant and variant mutations.

“Faced with the rapid spread of COVID-19 variants, global access to effective antibody treatment is fundamentally important to reduce the disease progression rate to severe COVID-19 and help outpatients avoid hospitalisation and alleviate the burden on the health care system.”

Kim continued: “We have commenced the development of a neutralising antibody cocktail with CT-P59 against new emerging strains in the UK and South Africa and we will continue to further investigate the neutralising antibodies and other responses to protect against current SARS-CoV-2 strains and emerging variants.”

Jack Goddard

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