GC Pharma announced on May 18 that it would provide GC5131A, the world's first plasma therapy for COVID-19 that the company is developing, to Korean patients free of charge.
GC Pharma is the first Korean pharmaceutical company to come up with a plan to supply a COVID-19 treatment to patients for free. Its policy is different from other pharmaceutical companies that offered to supply their COVID-19 treatments without a profit. GC's decision is noteworthy as it means that the company will bear all costs for the supply of the treatment.
The plasma treatment is a hyperimmune globulin made by extracting immune proteins with various antibodies from the plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients. GC5131A differs from immune globulin, which consists of general immune antibodies, in that it contains more antibodies specific for COVID-19.
“We will cover all costs from development to commercialization of the treatment, except the support we have received from the government. There will be no limits in the supply amount. We will provide the treatment with no strings attached,” the company said.
“We believe that medicines for the treatment of the new infectious disease should be used only for stabilizing public health,” said Huh Eun-chul, president of GC Pharma. “The blood plasma treatment platform, which is being developed with the concerted efforts of the Korean people, is worth more than money.”
The company sent a letter to its shareholders requesting understanding for its decision, which puts the company’s stable future before short-term profits.