SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea Celltrion Inc. said on Monday that the experimental treatment of COVID-19 showed a 100-fold decrease in viral load in animal testing.
Drug makers worldwide are rushing to develop treatments and vaccines for diseases that have caused more than 371,000 deaths globally.
Pre-clinical studies of the drug show improved recovery in colds, coughs and body aches after the first day of treatment, and clear up inflammation of the lungs within six days, the company said in a statement.
Celltrion has research experience with other types of coronavirus conditions such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). He hopes to start the first human clinical trial for COVID-19 treatment in July, said Kwon Ki-Sung, head of the company’s research and development unit.
“(Celltrion) has the ability to stage mass production of therapeutic antibody therapy when it’s ready,” Kwon said.
Celltrion shares traded up 4.2% Monday morning in Seoul compared to the 1.4% KOSPI benchmark increase.
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Christopher Cushing)
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