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COVID-19 treatment

Celltrion says COVID-19 antibody kills virus within 5 days; shares surge

By Nov 11, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

South Korea’s biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion Inc. can unveil an antibody treatment by around the end of the year that is able to kill the COVID-19 virus within four to five days, its chairman said on Nov. 11.

During an interview with a local radio program, Seo Jung-jin, founder and chairman of the biosimilar maker, said the company is currently in phase 2 and phase 3 trials of its anti-COVID 19 monoclonal antibody CT-P59.

He said the company plans to apply for conditional approval of the treatment from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety by year-end if its phase 2 trial ends with satisfactory results in safety, tolerability and efficacy of the drug by that time.

Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin
Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin

“From the clinical trials we’ve been conducting so far, we’ve gleaned positive results that our antibody CT-P59 destroys the virus within four to five days of being injected into the human body,” Seo told the radio program.

He said it’s important to kill the coronavirus within a week of diagnosis to avoid the more severe effects of the virus, including damage of internal organs.

The chairman added that the virus starts reproducing two days before symptoms develop and then becomes virulent within a week, when it can affect internal organs.

“Currently there’s no cure for damaged organs. And there won’t be in the near future. That’s why an early diagnosis and treatment of the coronavirus is important,” he said.


With more than 50 million COVID-19 cases globally, companies are racing to find a cure, either in vaccine or antibody form, as the number of patients continues to rise.

Seo said antibody therapy is one of the strongest treatments for COVID-19.

Remsima, a biosilimar produced by Celltrion
Remsima, a biosilimar produced by Celltrion

The chairman said Celltrion has already begun manufacturing CT-P59 for use by about 100,000 patients once the company gets government approval.

He said Celltrion’s production capacity is about 7% of global drug output and could manufacture CT-P59 for up to 2 million people.

“We plan to supply the antibody for Koreans at production cost. If any foreign country wants our products, we could provide them at a lower price than our competitors,” he said.

Shares of Celltrion and its affiliates soared on Chairman Seo’s remarks.

Celltrion finished up 7.2%, its biggest percentage gain in nearly five months, at 296,500 won on Wednesday. Celltrion Pharm surged 15.2% to 129,200 won, while Celltrion Healthcare closed up 5.2% at 95,000 won.

Write to Yena Kim at

In-Soo Nam edited this article.
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