Celltrion ends development of inhalable Covid-19 treatment
"We decided to halt developing the treatment since the Covid-19 situation is changing rapidly and the business feasibility was judged to be insignificant," it said.
The inhalable Covid-19 cocktail treatment is a combination of monoclonal antibodies with CT-P59, also known as Regkirona, and CT-P63, another candidate substance from the company.
It received the nod to start Phase 3 clinical trials in Romania last month.
"With the Covid-19 pandemic shifting into an endemic phase, the process is getting tougher and tougher, such as the health authorities are not offering fast-track procedures or emergency use approvals anymore," said Lee Eun-yeong, a spokeswoman for Celltrion. "The number of patients needed in the clinical trials has become larger as well."
Celltrion's Regkirona was the first domestically developed Covid-19 treatment. A total of 52,000 patients in Korea have been injected with the treatment since February 2021.
But the government halted the use of Regkirona earlier in this year as it was shown to be ineffective against the Omicron variant.
Celltrion said it instead will focus more on developing mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccines and manufacturing Covid-19 oral treatments.
Celltrion has been manufacturing Paxlovid and molnupiravir, the two oral treatments. The company expects to start supplying them to the less developed countries at the beginning of next year.
BY SARAH CHEA [firstname.lastname@example.org]