Hyundai Bioscience (KOSDAQ: 048410) develops a candidate for oral drug to treat COVID-19
SEOUL, South Korea, Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Expectations are increasing as a Korean bio-tech company has succeeded in solving the problem of low absorption which has been one of the biggest obstacles for the repositioning of Niclosamide, an anthelmintic, as the first orally ingested treatment for COVID-19.
Hyundai Bioscience’s parent company, CNPharm, has succeeded in dramatically increasing the bioavailability, or absorption rate, of Niclosamide into the blood system. It was announced on October 29th that CNPharm was undergoing procedures to obtain approval, after consultation with relevant authorities such as the KFDA, to utilize this breakthrough candidate drug for the oral treatment of COVID-19. Hyundai Bio reported that the candidate drug for COVID-19 treatment developed by CNPharm, using its organic-inorganic hybrid drug delivery system (DDS) technology, showed its Cmax, the highest concentration level of the drug in blood, as 12.5 times higher than that of normal Niclosamide administered to the control group in animal experiments.
As CNPharm has solved the low bioavailability issue of Niclosamide, the possibility of an early emergence of an oral COVID-19 treatment through drug repositioning has increased. Since the drug developed by CNPharm is a modified drug by repositioning a pre-approved drug, the clinical procedure is expected to be shortened according to the relevant laws and regulations. It is also expected that Korea, as many other major countries prioritizing the finding of a solution to the COVID-19 crisis, is likely to implement a fast track to quickly proceed with the approval process.
In April, Niclosamide, currently an anthelmintic, was selected by the Institute Pasteur Korea as the No. 1 choice for COVID-19 treatment out of 48 major candidates among 3,000 approved drugs in the world. At the time, the research institute also revealed the results of a study that showed that the treatment effectiveness for COVID-19 of Niclosamide was 40 times that of Remdesivir and 26 times that of Chloroquine. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, Niclosamide has been attracting much attention as a candidate drug due to its high effectiveness in treating COVID-19. However, most pharmaceutical companies have focused on developing injection types rather than an oral ingestion type due to the fact that it is hardly absorbed in the stomach and intestines.
Dr. Geun-Woo Jin, Director of CNPharm’s research center, said "the biggest significance of this research and development is that we have succeeded in solving the low bioavailability issue of poorly soluble drugs, which had been considered a difficult problem in the pharmaceutical industry, with organic-inorganic hybrid technology. If clinical procedures proceed quickly, the world’s first oral COVID-19 treatment may come out of Korea."
About Hyundai Bioscience
HYUNDAI BIOSCIENCE is a biotechnology company that developed and commercialized bio-fusion technology with the purpose of delivering active ingredients safely and efficiently to targeted areas of the body. Hyundai Bioscience’s Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Technology is a Drug Delivery System technology that allows the selective and effective delivery of active substances on the target area in combination with bio-friendly minerals. Applying its technology in the fields of tumor-targeted drugs and even skincare, Hyundai Bioscience will continue to expand its business scope by introducing innovative biotechnology and new effective products.
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