Celltrion passes early safety trial for anti-COVID-19 antibody as key tests await

Celltrion
Celltrion Group Chairman Jung Jin Seo (Celltrion)

Vaccines get all the headlines, but the use of antibodies to both treat and prevent SARS-CoV-02 infection is an equally major part of the COVID-19 arsenal.

Eli Lilly and partner AbCellera are furthest along in the antibody stakes with an ongoing phase 3 program, but South Korea’s Celltrion, better known for its biosimilar work, is also forging ahead, releasing encouraging safety data this morning as it looks to push on into later-stage trials.

It’s top-line stuff, but the available data showed that CT-P59, its anti-COVID-19 monoclonal antibody, saw no "significant drug-related adverse events, and importantly there were no adverse events from the maximum tolerated dose cohort.”

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It did not give further details, but the test was set up to see how safe the drug could be in preventing the disease.

Bigger trials now await: The phase 1 in mild COVID-19 patients is ongoing, but it is slated to kick-start plans to conduct further global phase 2 and 3 trials.

One will enroll around 3,000 patients and will include those involved in the prevention test, investigating the use of CT-P59 as a preventive treatment for COVID-19 in those in close contact with COVID-19 patients.

Data from this program “should be complete by the first half of 2021.”

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