Daewoong Pharmaceutical and Tufts Medical Center join on phase 2 clinical trials of Niclosamide for COVID19
- Entering phase 2 clinical trial in the United States based on trial results in South Korea, India, and Australia
- Collaboration with Dr. Harry Selker of Tufts Medical Center and the Tufts Niclosamide Team, who are currently running clinical trials with oral niclosamide, is expected to bring great synergy
SEOUL, South Korea, Oct. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Daewoong Pharmaceutical (CEO Sengho Jeon, KRX: 069620) announced on October 26 that the collaborative clinical research agreement between Daewoong and Tufts Medical Center was signed to prepare for the phase 2 clinical study of DWRX2003 (active ingredient: niclosamide) in the United States. DWRX2003 is an investigational drug under development by Daewoong Pharmaceutical as a COVID-19 treatment.
Tufts Medical Center is a renowned academic medical center located in Boston. Harry Selker, MD, MSPH, of Tufts Medical Center, agreed to be Daewoong's principal investigator along with his Tufts Niclosamide Team's current work in a separate phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of oral niclosamide for COVID-19.
Niclosamide is an inexpensive medication that has been used worldwide for 50 years for tapeworm, which has been shown to have potent anti-viral activity. A clinical trial is now underway at Tufts Medical Center to investigate niclosamide's ability to prevent progression to serious disease. The study is also examining niclosamide's potential to prevent viral shedding of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, which would help prevent spreading of the disease.
Daewoong Pharmaceutical is planning a pre-IND meeting with the U.S. FDA to apply for a phase 2 clinical trial once obtaining the ethnicity-based safety data sorted from phase 1 clinical studies in South Korea, India, and Australia. The company expressed confidence in working with Tufts Medical Center and its extensive experience with niclosamide for the upcoming clinical trial.
Daewoong Pharmaceutical employed its proprietary delivery technology to repurpose oral niclosamide into a long-acting intramuscular injection, DWRX2003. The new formulation is expected to (1) overcome the low absorption rate of oral niclosamide, (2) maintain plasma concentration high enough to treat viral infection upon a single injection, and (3) prevent gastrointestinal adverse events (i.e. nausea, vomiting, etc.) that are known to occur by oral pathway.
Sengho Jeon, CEO of Daewoong Phamarceutical, stated "we are delighted to be working with Tufts Medical Center and Dr. Harry Selker and the Tufts Niclosamide Team, who already have great knowledge on the potential of niclosamide for COVID-19. We are accelerating every development effort to bring a safe and effective COVID-19 treatment that everyone in this world deserves".
Dr. Harry Selker, Executive Director of the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center; Dean of Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center; and professor at Tufts University School of Medicine added, "Our Tufts Niclosamide Team has been investigating the promise of niclosamide for COVID-19 since early in the COVID-19 pandemic and believe this agent, already known to be safe and well-tolerated, has great promise."
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