GC Pharma announced on April 2 that it would release the world's first plasma treatment for COVID-19 in the second half of this year.
The company said the "GC5131A," a COVID-19 treatment it is developing, can be commercialized within this year.
The GC5131A is a hyperimmune globulin made with immune proteins containing various antibodies taken from the blood plasma of people who have recovered from COVID-19. While immune globulins generally consist of general immune antibodies, the GC5131A contains more antibodies specialized for COVID-19. GC Pharma has already developed immune globulins such as "Hepavic," a hepatitis B treatment.
Plasma products can be developed rapidly as they are immunoglobulin drugs that have been used in the human body for a long time. Unlike the development of new drugs, the development process can be simplified because the working mechanisms and methods of production are the same as those of identical products already commercialized.
In the past, patients of new infectious diseases have been treated through the administration of plasma taken from recovered people. So the treatment effect of a drug that is produced by concentrating the plasma of recovered people can be said to be already proven.
The world's top blood product companies, such as Takeda and Grifols, are developing COVID-19 blood products like GC Pharma with support from governments. They are also reportedly aiming to commercialize the treatments within the year.
Huh Eun-chul, president of GC Pharma, said that the company will soon begin clinical trials for its treatment, adding that it is intended to treat serious patients and prevent high-risk groups such as frontline medical staff from being confined to bed.