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Institut Pasteur Korea, Chong Kun Dang Pharm., and Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, Promote Joint Research and Clinical Trial for Development of COVID-19 Treatment
- Nafabelltan of Chong Kun Dang Pharm enters phase 2 clinical trial of COVID-19 treatment development -
Institut Pasteur Korea (CEO: Wang-Shick Ryu) and Chong Kun Dang Pharm. (CEO: Young-Joo Kim) collaborates in the phase 2 clinical trial of Nafabelltan for the development of COVID-19 treatment.
Nafabelltan is a blood anticoagulant and acute pancreatitis treatment drug of Chong Kun Dang Pharm. Earlier, Institut Pasteur Korea confirmed the excellent antiviral efficacy of nafamostat against SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture experiments. Nafamostat is the main ingredient of Nafabelltan.
With approval by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety granted on Jun 17, the clinical trial of Nafabelltan to treat severe COVID-19 patients with pneumonia is conducted applying the clinical protocols developed by the Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences (Chairperson: Mi-Sook Kim). Once its therapeutic effect is confirmed, an approval on emergency use of Nafabelltan as a COVID-19 treatment will be requested to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. Afterwards, the scope of the clinical trial will be expanded to mild COVID-19 patients.
Institut Pasteur Korea, Chong Kun Dang Pharm., and Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences announced the beginning of joint research on the development of Nafabelltan in a ceremony held on June 15at the headquarter of the Chong Kun Dang Pharm. located Chungjeong-Ro, Seodaemun-Gu, Seoul. The ceremony was attended by Mr. Philippe Lefort, French Ambassador to Korea, Dr. Wang-Shick Ryu, CEO of Institut Pasteur Korea, Dr. Mi-Sook Kim, Chairperson of Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, and Mr. Young-Joo Kim, CEO of Chong Kun Dang Pharm.
Institut Pasteur Korea has been testing approximately 3,000 drugs, already approved or in development, for the antiviral efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 through cellular experiments. The institute reported that, in human lung cell (Calu-3 cell) experiments, nafamostat showed superior antiviral efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 to remdesivir, a drug which the US FDA authorized emergency use for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Nafamostat inhibits the serine protease 'TMPRSS2', which is known to play a major role in the cell penetration process of the SARS-CoV-2. In addition to the result of Institut Pasteur Korea, a similar antiviral activity of nafamostat against SARS-CoV-2 was also confirmed by a research team at the University of Tokyo, Japan.
Dr. Wang-Shick Ryu, CEO of Institut Pasteur Korea, said, "We expect that the excellent efficacy of nafamostat confirmed in cellular experiments is validated in clinical trials so that it could be used as a COVID-19 treatment."
Mr. Young-Joo Kim, CEO of Chong Kun Dang Pharm. said, "Nafamostat showed several hundred times higher antiviral effects than the remdesivir recently authorized for emergency use in the US for treatment of COVID-19. If successfully developed, Nafamostat is expected to contribute to ending the COVID-19 that led to an unprecedented pandemic in human history."