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GC WellBeing to repurpose liver drug as COVID-19 treatment

Laennec (GC WellBeing)
Laennec (GC WellBeing)
GC WellBeing will conduct a phase 2 clinical trial of its liver drug Laennec, to repurpose it as a COVID-19 treatment, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said Friday.

This puts the total count of domestic pursuits for COVID-19 treatments at 14 and vaccines at eight.

Among them, Celltrion’s monoclonal antibody regdanvimab is the only one to have been emergency-approved.

Laennec is made from human placenta. Having been approved in Korea in 2005, the drug has been in use for 16 years as a subcutaneous and intramuscular injection to enhance liver functions in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver patients.

For COVID-19, Laennec will be clinically tested as an intravenous injection.

The Drug Ministry said that in animal trials, Laennec showed antiviral effects against COVID-19 such as a reduction in viral load and diminished structural changes in host cells caused by viral invasion.

Laennec is owned by Japan Bio Products. In Korea, GC WellBeing is responsible for both manufacturing and marketing of Laennec.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)
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