Celltrion’s Covid-19 drug is weak against the South African variant

Celltrion said its Regkirona Inj. Covid-19 treatment (ingredient: Regdanvimab) showed a weak neutralizing effect against the South African variant of the Covid-19 virus.

The company recently asked the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency’s National Institute of Health to test Regkirona’s virus neutralization ability.

The researchers mixed the UK variant (VOC202012 / 01) and the South Africa variant (501Y.V2) with an antibody and infected the host cells with it. Then they assessed the ability of the antibody to suppress the virus.

According to Celltrion, the Regkirona Covid-19 treatment had a weak neutralizing effect against the South African variant of the Covid-19 virus.

The results showed that Regkirona’s ability to neutralize was strong compared to the British variant, but weak compared to the South African variant.

However, Celltrion noted that Regkirona primarily targeted the dominant virus. The treatment secured a total of 38 neutralizing antibodies to Covid-19, with antibody candidate No. 32 showing neutralizing effects against new strains in the UK and South Africa, Celltrion said.

The company previously confirmed that Regkirona is effective against six variants of the Covid-19 virus (S, L, V, G, GH, and GR) confirmed in Korea.

Celltrion said it will develop a “variant-specific cocktail treatment” to combat the emerging variants of the Covid-19 virus.

The company will primarily supply Regkirona and separately develop a new cocktail therapy using antibody candidate # 32. It is planned to complete the relevant clinical study within the next six months.

Kwon Ki-sung, Head of Research and Development at Celltrion, said Regkirona has shown strong neutralization ability not only against the dominant Covid-19 virus, but also against mutants in Korea and the British variant, which has the largest proportion in the world Taking variants.

“We will also accelerate the development of a bespoke cocktail antibody treatment to aggressively target different mutants,” he added.

Celltrion recently received regulatory approval for Regkirona to treat Covid-19 patients with mild and moderate symptoms in high-risk groups, on condition that the company later submit phase 3 clinical trial results.

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