Daewoong seeks Philippine approval to test tapeworm treatment medicine

By Lim Chang-won Posted : July 8, 2020, 15:51 Updated : July 8, 2020, 15:51

[Courtesy of Daewoong ]

SEOUL -- Daewoong Pharmaceutical, a major bioengineering company in South Korea, has applied for approval by a Philippine health regulatory agency to test niclosamide (DWRX2003), a tapeworm treatment medicine selected as a candidate for COVID-19 antibody treatment.

Daewoong said it has sent an investigational new drug (IND) application to the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines. If approval comes, the company will go ahead with the first-stage clinical trial of DWRX2003 in the Southeast Asian country. A similar application was made in India in May.

Daewoong claimed to have achieved progress in the initial animal testing of niclosamide. 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 by inhibiting the glucose uptake, oxidative phosphorylation and anaerobic metabolism.

To find COVID-19 treatment, Daewoong is also testing the effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and camostat mesilate, 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.

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