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Ruling party chief visits Celltrion developing COVID-19 antibody drug
Published : Oct 18, 2020 - 18:08
Updated : Oct 20, 2020 - 15:26
Lee Nak-yon (second from left), chairman of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, is briefed on the latest developments from drugmaker Celltrion by its chief, Seo Jung-jin (far right), at its Incheon plant, Oct. 18, 2020. (Yonhap)
Chairman Lee Nak-yon of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea met with the chief of South Korean drugmaker Celltrion on Sunday and was briefed on the latest developments from the firm that has recently gained regulatory approval for phase 3 clinical trials of an experimental COVID-19 treatment.

“If Celltrion and their peers here come up with a way to mass-produce the treatment, we could be the first country in the world free of the coronavirus,” Lee said at a meeting held in the company’s factory in Incheon.

“I believe we can do it,” he added, stressing his party will not sit idle but look into ways to better help bio and health industries to prepare for when the country gets past the coronavirus pandemic.

Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin referred to the COVID-19 treatment that US President Donald Trump recently received, saying, “We’re aiming to get our people to receive the same.” Celltrion is seeking approval for its antibody drug, CT-P59, by the end of this year.

“We’ve already begun producing the drug for about 90,000 patients (for immediate supply upon the completion of the clinical trials). It is risky, but I'm taking that risk because I am confident (about what we’re making),” he said.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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