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Boryung finds cancer drug has antiviral effect on Covid-19
  • By Shim Hyun-tai
  • Published 2020.07.02 18:07
  • Updated 2020.07.02 18:07
  • comments 0

Boryung Pharmaceutical said the company has found that Aplidin (ingredient: plitidepsin), which it introduced through an exclusive contract with Spanish company PharmaMar, has an antiviral effect on Covid-19 at concentrations far lower than Remdesivir.

According to repeated efficacy assessment studies on Covid-19 by a domestic research institution, Aplidin showed 2,400 to 2,800 times higher antiviral activity than that of Remdesivir in the Vero cell experiment. In human lung cells (Calu-3 cell), Aplidin had 80 times the antiviral activity than that of Remdesivir. Also, the drug selectively killed the Covid-19 virus in the cell.

After finding that Aplidin has a strong antiviral effect on Covid-19, Boryung Pharmaceutical will step up efforts to develop it as a treatment. (Boryung)

Aplidin is a therapy for patients with multiple myeloma. Its component derived from a marine natural product called aplidium albicans.

Aplidin is now being sold in Australia as a treatment for multiple myeloma and has received approval for phase 3 clinical trials in the United States and Europe.

The potent antiviral effect is likely to help prevent the progression of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) by the new coronavirus and quickly improve the symptoms of the Covid-19 patients, Boryung said in a news release Thursday.

In April, PharmaMar got approval for clinical trials of Aplidin in Spain to develop the drug as Covid-19 treatment and conducting tests. Boryung also aims to begin a clinical study before the end of the third quarter.

"What we ought to do for now is to return to the life of days before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. To do so, many pharmaceutical companies must continue various and innovative challenges to end Covid-19," Boryung CEO Lee Sam-soo said. "We will develop a safe and effective treatment through in-depth research of Aplidin in cooperation with various institutions and partners."


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