SEOUL -- Genexine, a clinical-stage biotechnology company in South Korea, has received U.S. approval to go ahead with clinical trials of GX-I7, an immunotherapeutic drug candidate, to see if it is effective in the treatment of COVID-19.
Genexine has said that GX-I7 (Hyleukin-7) showed good efficacy when used in combination with a variety of immunotherapeutic agents. The seriousness of COVID-19 is related to the decrease and depletion of lymphocytes, which are essential for immune defense, the company said, adding Interleukin-7 (IL-7) can revive the immune function of patients by increasing the number of lymphocytes.
Genexine and its U.S. co-developer NeoImmuneTech, a clinical-stage T cell-focused biopharmaceutical company, have secured approval from the Food and Drug Administration to conduct Phase 1 clinical trial, which will be conducted on mild COVID-19 patients.
"The development of Hyleukin-7 is expected to greatly speed up the commercialization of immuno-cancer and infectious agents," said Gnexine CEO Sung Young-chul.
Genexine has been involved in a state-commissioned research consortium in South Korea to develop GX-19, a DNA vaccine material for COVID-19, which generated neutralizing antibodies in animal testing.
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