Hyundai Bioscience's treatment should work with all variants

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Hyundai Bioscience's treatment should work with all variants

Oh Sang-ki, CEO of Hyundai Bioscience, talks about the company’s oral Covid-19 treatment candidate, CP-COV03, during a press conference Tuesday at the Seoul Press Center, central Seoul. [HYUNDAI BIOSCIENCE]

Oh Sang-ki, CEO of Hyundai Bioscience, talks about the company’s oral Covid-19 treatment candidate, CP-COV03, during a press conference Tuesday at the Seoul Press Center, central Seoul. [HYUNDAI BIOSCIENCE]

 
Hyundai Bioscience is developing a Covid-19 treatment that will remain effective for all kinds of variants, the company said.
 
“CP-COV03, Hyundai Bioscience’s oral Covid-19 treatment that is currently undergoing Phase 1 clinical trials, is a host-directed treatment rather than a virus-directed treatment, so we don’t have to worry about variants,” Oh Sang-ki, CEO of the company, said at a press conference Tuesday at the Seoul Press Center, central Seoul.
 
CP-COV03 is based on niclosamide, a substance that is good for making host-directed antiviral therapies, Oh said. Niclosamide is used world wide to treat parasitic infections. 
 
The biopharmaceutical company emphasized that its treatment candidate is proving to be very effective when taken with dexamethasone.
 
According to results of tests conducted on hamsters infected with the virus, hamsters injected with CP-COV03 and dexamethasone showed 46.9 percent improvement in lung lesions compared to those injected only with dexamethasone, which showed 22.2 percent improvement. The Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology was in charge of conducting the preclinical trials in October and November.
 
Dexamethasone is being used as a supplement to Covid-19 treatments. Former U.S. President Donald Trump is known to be used dexamethasone along with remdesivir, made by U.S. pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences.
 
“Dexamethasone comes with some side effects such as reduction in the activity of the immune system, so it is important to find a drug that can be consumed with it,” Jin Geun-woo, head of Hyundai Bioscience’s research center, said during the press conference. “CP-COV03 will be the best mate for dexamethasone.”
 
The Kosdaq-listed company aims to finish Phase 1 clinical trials by the end of January, with the goal of gaining emergency use authorization from health authorities in the first half of next year.
 
As soon as it concludes the Phase 1 clinical trials, the company will ask the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety for approval to start two separate Phase 2 clinical trials, one for Covid-19 treatment and one for the flu.
 
The company wants to prevent a so-called twin-demic — the double spread of the coronavirus and the flu — during winters. Medical professionals are struggling to distinguish the flu and Covid-19 in early stages as the two produce similar symptoms.
 
“Although we are a latecomer to the Covid-19 treatment market, we already knew that the pandemic will not end until the world finds a proper treatment that isn’t affected by variants,” Oh added. “Hyundai Bioscience’s CP-COV03 will become a game changer in this war against the virus.”

BY SARAH CHEA [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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