Levovir demonstrated comparable efficacy to KALETRA® against coronavirus in vitro
Bukwang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. announced that in vitro study of Levovir® against virus isolated from Korean patients with coronavirus infection-19 (COVID-19) showed comparable antiviral effect to KALETRA®, which is currently being used for treating COVID-19. Based on these results, the company has filed a patent application.
Levovir® showed antiviral effect comparable to KALETRA® in both the plaque reduction test and RT-PCR (Real-Time PCR) test. The active ingredients of KALETRA® were used as positive control.
Clevudine, the active ingredient of Levovir®, is an antiviral drug fully developed by Bukwang and was launched as fourth in worldwide and first in Asia antihepatitis B. It is a nucleic acid analog that inhibits the replication of viral genetic material.
How Clevudine suppresses COVID-19 virus infection is not yet clear but KALETRA® is a drug that has been approved to treat AIDS. Another nucleic acid analog that was originally developed for treating Ebola virus infection, Remdesivir, is also now under development for treating COVID-19.
There are several advantages in developing drugs that have previously been approved, including shorter development time because some time consuming studies such as long term toxicology data are available and thus can be exempted.
Bukwang representative mentioned that, based on current findings, the company plans to discuss the future development plan including clinical trials with with Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.