Daewoong tests camostat mesilate for treatment of COVID-19

By Lim Chang-won Posted : July 7, 2020, 12:04 Updated : July 7, 2020, 12:04

[Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- Camostat mesilate, a potent serine protease inhibitor sold by Daewoong Pharmaceutical under the brand of Foistar, has been approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, a government public health agency, to go ahead with second-stage clinical trials to prove its efficacy in treating COVID-19.

In clinical trials, 90 patients with mild or secondary symptoms will be given drugs for up to 14 days to determine the effectiveness of Foistar tablets, which are used to treat to treat chronic pancreatitis and postoperative reflux esophagitis. Daewoong plans to carry out Phase III clinical trials within this year.

In research abroad, Camostat mesilate was found to be effective in blocking the spread and pathogenesis of COVID-19 in animal testing. To find COVID-19 treatment, the company is also testing the effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are multipotent stromal cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types.

Daewoong claimed to have achieved progress in the initial animal testing of niclosamide (DWRX2003), a tapeworm treatment medicine selected as a candidate for COVID-19 antibody treatment. Institut Pasteur Korea, an infectious disease-focused research institute, works with a subsidiary of Daewoong to test the efficacy of niclosamide, which basically starves tapeworms to death.
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