GC Pharma on July 29 sought the Drug Ministry’s approval to carry out a phase 2 clinical trials of its plasma-derived COVID-19 treatment.
The company plans to conduct tests of its GC5131A on 60 patients at Samsung Medical Center, Asan Medical Center, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Korea University Ansan Hospital and Chungnam University Hospital.
According to biopharmaceutical firm, GC5131A is a hyperimmune globulin derived out of immuno antibody from recovering COVID-19 patients’ blood plasma. Hyperimmune globulin is a substance that has long been safely used in human bodies for therapeutic purposes, meaning it is safe for it to bypass the clinical phase 1 trials that normally target healthy people to test for any toxicity of the substance.
Excluding drug repurposing COVID-19 treatments, plasma therapy is the fastest drug candidate to embark on phase 2 clinical trials in Korea.
GC Pharma stressed that its treatment is different from regular plasma injections, and that a plasma-derived treatment separates immuno-protein from the plasma and packs it in a highly concentrated medicinal product.
On the same day, GCMS, a diagnostic kit maker under GC Group, reported an on-year increase of over 100 times in operating profit in the second quarter.
The company posted 2.8 billion won ($2.34 million) operating profit in the second quarter, up from 26 million won in the same period last year, and revenue of 28.9 billion won, up 34.8 percent on-year.
Its net profit marked 3.1 billion won.
GCMS noted that the performance of its diagnostic products grew 60 percent over the period and touted the improvements in figures.
Its COVID-19 diagnostic kit exports begun in June. It was only partially reflected in this quarterly report and will begin to show bigger impact in the second half of 2020, the company explained.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)