Celltrion to supply antibody treatment for COVID-19 without profit margin in Korea: chairman

supply antibody treatment

Celltrion Group Chairman Seo Jung-jin said Thursday that his company will supply its antibody treatment for COVID-19 without a profit margin in South Korea.

The biopharmaceutical company’s CT-P59 won the local drug safety agency’s conditional approval earlier this month, becoming the first locally made treatment for the virus. The firm began to supply the drug to local medical institutions Wednesday

CT-P59 is administered to COVID-19 patients at higher risk, referring to people aged 60 and older, or with health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or chronic diseases that affect the respiratory system.

Seo said he plans to “supply the treatment globally after keeping enough supply for all Koreans.”

“Our treatment will be sold without a profit margin in Korea,” he said in an interview with Korea Society President Tom Byrne posted Friday on the website of the nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of ties between South Korea and the United States.

Chairman of Celltrion Group Seo Jung-jin talks about CT-P59, his company's antibody treatment for COVID-19 and South Korea's first locally made treatment for the coronavirus, at an online press conference on Feb. 18. Screen capture from YouTube
An employee of a drugstore at Keimyung University Daegu Dongsan Hospital in Daegu’s Jung District shows Celltrion’s CT-P59, Feb. 17, when the treatment drug started being distributed to medical service providers here. Yonhap

In other countries, Seo said Celltrion will sell its antibody treatment at lower prices than those of its competitors, adding that Celltrion will offer even lower prices for developing countries.

He said Celltrion is currently in preliminary discussions with the U.S Food and Drug Administration, adding that the antibody treatment will be made available to people worldwide.

Seo said pharmaceutical companies should do their best to put the public’s interest before their own to help the world end the pandemic as soon as possible.

“Drugs developed for the treatment of a pandemic like COVID-19 should not be commercially motivated. It should be done in the public interest,” he noted.

Seo said Celltrion Group is getting ready to develop a COVID-19 vaccine if needed.

“If the help we can get from foreign pharmaceutical companies is not fast enough, we will develop a vaccine as well. We’ve already secured candidates,” he said. (Yonhap)


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