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Tuesday Sep 08 2020

South Korea eyes mass production COVID-19 antibody treatment

A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this photo. — Reuters/Files

SEOUL: South Korean health authorities said Tuesday the country eyes to mass-produce an antibody treatment of the novel coronavirus later this month.

The country's drug ministry is currently reviewing phase 2/3 clinical tests for the antibody-based treatment and aims to mass-produce commercial antibodies for the novel coronavirus in September, according to Kwon Jun-wook, deputy chief at the Central Disease Control Headquarters.

Health researchers are currently analysing results of the phase 1 trial, which was approved by the drug ministry on July 17.

They also earned approval for the phase 1 study of the treatment in Britain on July 29.

For blood plasma-based treatment, health authorities said the drug ministry approved the phase 2 study of its development on August 20, and six medical institutions, including Samsung Medical Centre and Asan Medical Centre, will verify its effectiveness and safety on COVID-19 patients.

Health authorities added the blood plasma material for the phase 2 trial will begin production Tuesday and supply of the substance will be completed in mid-October.