Korean pharmaceutical companies are speeding up the development of oral Covid-19 medicines after local authority has licensed Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill for emergency use with home treatment rising as the last hope to combat Covid-19 and variants.
According to industry sources on Tuesday, 16 Korean companies, including Ildong Pharmaceutical, Daewon Pharmaceuticals, Hyundai Bioscience and Chong Kun Dang are conducting clinical trials of 17 drug candidates against Covid-19. Among them, drugs from Ildong Pharm and Chong Kun Dang are at the most advanced stage of development.
Last month, Ildong Pharm started a Phase 2/3 clinical trial of S-217622, an investigational oral medication developed by its Japanese partner Shionogi Pharmaceutical to treat symptoms caused by SARS-CoV-2. The pill is taken once daily for five days, which could be useful for home treatment if approved.
Chong Kun Dang received approval by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) in April to conduct a Phase 3 clinical trial of Nafabeltan (nafamostat) in patients with severe Covid-19 symptoms.
Daewon Pharmaceuticals was last month approved to go ahead with its planned Phase 2 study of TG Fenon Tab. (choline fenofibrate) developed as a hyperlipidemia drug to evaluate its potential as a Covid-19 cure. Hyundai Bioscience is conducting a Phase 1 study after a regulatory nod last month.
By Kim Si-gyun and Minu Kim, Jeon Kyung-woon, Jeong Hui Yeong and Minu Kim
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