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GC Pharma gets nod for clinical trial of COVID-19 plasma therapy

All News 10:33 August 20, 2020

By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's drug safety watchdog said Thursday that it has approved a second-phase clinical trial of the treatment for the novel coronavirus by pharmaceutical firm GC Pharma.

The plasma therapy, dubbed GC5131, is a type of hyper-immune globulin drug that uses blood plasma taken from people who have fully recovered from COVID-19 infections.

This photo, taken on May 13, 2020, shows an official of GC Pharma working to develop a COVID-19 plasma therapy at its research center in Yongin, south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety gave the green light to administer the investigational therapy to COVID-19 patients to evaluate its safety and efficacy.

The ministry said it has skipped the phase one clinical trial after evaluating the widely recognized safety profile of a plasma medication.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 develop natural defenses against the disease in their blood, in which antibodies are found in the part of the blood called plasma.

So far, clinical trials for 14 COVID-19 treatments and two vaccines are under way in the country.

On Thursday, the country added 288 more COVID-19 cases, including 276 local infections, raising the total caseload to 16,346, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

khj@yna.co.kr
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