Korea United Pharm's asthma drug candidate to be regenerated for COVID-19 treatment

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : August 19, 2020, 15:00 | Updated : August 19, 2020, 15:00

[Courtesy of Korea United Pharm ]

SEOUL -- Korea United Pharm will develop an inhaler-type treatment of COVID-19 patients by regenerating an asthma drug candidate which is easy to take without the help of medical staff and contributes to the prevention of secondary infections. Quick clinical trials will be conducted and completed in the Philippines.

The pharmaceutical company said that it would develop a COVID-19 drug by using its asthma drug candidate called UI030 which has a low risk of systemic side effects and shows both antiviral and immuno-control effects. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has approved a Phase 1 clinical test.

Korea United Pharm has reduced the side effects of symbicort turbuhaler, an asthma inhalation therapy that controls the symptoms of asthma and prevents asthma attacks by keeping the airways open to make breathing easier. In an in vitro cell test conducted at Korea University School of Medicine, the company said UI030's antiviral effect was up to 30 times higher than ciclesonide, a glucocorticoid used to treat asthma and allergic rhinitis.

"UI030 is expected to present a new direction for COVID-19 treatment through dual action of antiviral and immuno-control," CEO Kang Duk-young told a news conference. Rapid commercialization is possible next year because raw materials have already been developed for mass production, he said, citing UI030's safety.
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