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Bukwang Pharmaceutical’s Levovir Works like Kaletra in Treating COVID-19
A Potential Treatment for COVID-19
Bukwang Pharmaceutical’s Levovir Works like Kaletra in Treating COVID-19
  • By Choi Moon-hee
  • March 11, 2020, 11:01
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Bukwang Pharmaceutical said on March 10 that its hepatitis B (HBV) infection treatment Levovir (component name: clevudine) has showed similar results to Kaletra, which is used to treat COVID-19 patients, in in-vitro tests of viruses from Korean COVID-19 patients’ samples. The company has applied for a patent.

The main ingredient of Kaletra currently used as a treatment for the novel coronavirus was used as the positive control group. Levovir showed a similar degree of inhibition to Kaletra in plaque reduction tests and RT-PCR (Real-Time PCR) tests.

Clevudine is an antiviral drug developed by Bukwang Pharmaceutical. The drug came out as the world’s fourth and Asia’s first hepatitis B virus killer. Clevudine is a nucleic acid analog that has a mechanism of inhibiting the replication of viral genetic materials.

However, the mechanism of clevudine suppressing novel coronavirus infections has not been clarified yet. Kaletra has been used as a treatment for AIDS. Remdesivir, which is being tested as a treatment for the COVID-19 virus, is also a treatment for the Ebola virus.

"When we develop an existing drug as a treatment for other diseases, we can shorten the development period as we already have data on long-term toxicity," Bukwang Pharmaceutical said. "Based on the test results, we will discuss future development plans with the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety."