Celltrion mulls Covid-19 vaccine development for national interest

2021.02.18 15:26:44

[Photo by Yonhap]이미지 확대

[Photo by Yonhap]

Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin has hinted that the South Korea’s biosimilar power could explore vaccine development to ensure Korea’s sovereignty in cure and immunization strength versus novel coronavirus.

At an online press conference on Thursday, Seo said he is reviewing the possibility of entering vaccine development to reduce reliance on foreign vaccines.

The country already has a diagnosis system and treatment for Covid-19, but must rely on overseas drug makers when it comes to the vaccines, he said.

He implied that the company could start vaccine development should the Covid-19 variant threat grows and prolongs the pandemic crisis.

The vaccine development is not economically effective, but the company is willing to enter the venture if it is necessary to secure enough vaccines for Korean people as the company is already equipped with relevant technology, he added.

이미지 확대
Celltrion began distributing its Covid-19 monoclonal antibody treatment CT-P59 on Wednesday after receiving conditional approval from the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety earlier this month.

The treatment, however, is facing some controversy on lack of statistical significance, ineffectiveness on patients with mild symptoms and possible harmful effect on seriously-ill patients.

Seo said the treatment’s statistical significance is being questioned due to the small number of subjects of 327 during the second-phase trial, but argued that it could not be just coincidental that recovery shortened for more than 300 people and severe conditions improved after receiving the treatment.

The treatment shortened the recovery time by more than two days for patients with mild symptoms, so it can say it is also effective in mild patients, he said.

By Pulse

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