Daewoong allowed to conduct Foistar's clinical testing as COVID-19 treatment

By Lim Chang-won Posted : December 17, 2020, 15:31 Updated : December 17, 2020, 15:31

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- Daewoong Pharmaceutical, a major bioengineering company in South Korea, has acquired state approval to go ahead with final clinical trials to check the efficacy and safety of camostat mesilate, a drug candidate for the treatment of COVID-19.

Damostat mesilate is a potent serine protease inhibitor sold under the brand of Foistar. Foreign studies showed that camostat mesilate was found to be effective in blocking the spread and pathogenesis of COVID-19 in animal testing. Daewoong said on December 17 that Foistar's excellent inflammatory improvement was confirmed when it was medicated to COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has allowed Daewoong to conduct Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials at the same time for quick results. Some 1,000 patients infected with COVID-19 will be administered with Foistar, which has been developed as an oral drug.

"If Foistar is developed as COVID-19 treatment, minor patients can self-heal without having to go to hospitals," Daewoong CEO Jeon Seng-ho said in a statement. "We will do our best to quickly secure clinical results and contribute to overcoming the global COVID-19 pandemic with the goal of launching it in January next year."

Daewoong is currently conducting clinical trials for 180 patients in Mexico in collaboration with Institut Pasteur Korea, an infectious disease-focused research institute.

Daewoong is also testing the effectiveness of niclosamide (DWRX2003), a tapeworm treatment medicine selected as a candidate for COVID-19 antibody treatment. Institut Pasteur Korea works with a subsidiary of Daewoong to test the efficacy of niclosamide, which basically starves tapeworms to death by inhibiting the glucose uptake, oxidative phosphorylation and anaerobic metabolism.
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