COVID-19 drug shows 100-fold drop in viral load in animal testing, South Korea's Celltrion says

An experimental treatment of COVID-19 demonstrated a 100-fold reduction in viral load of the disease in animal testing, according to South Korean biopharmaceutical company Celltrion.

As the pandemic continues to rage, having infected more than 1.8 million and killed 106,696 in the United States, drugmakers worldwide are rushing to develop treatments and vaccines for it.

The pre-clinical study of the drug showed improved recovery in runny nose, cough and body aches after the first day of treatment, and clearing of lung inflammation within six days, the company said in a statement provided to Fox News.

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This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab.  (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab.  (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

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Celltrion hopes to commence the first in-human clinical trials for the COVID-19 treatment in July, said Kwon Ki-Sung, head of the firm's research and development unit, in a statement.

"(Celltrion) has the capability to roll out mass production of the therapeutic antibody treatment once it is ready," Kwon said.

The company has research experience with other types of coronavirus conditions such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).