COVID-19: Pyramax Enters Phase II Clinical Trial in South Korea

Since the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, it is on record that no drug or vaccine has been officially approved for the treatment of COVID-19.

However, there are emerging reports of how COVID-19 patients are having potential therapeutic benefits from existing drugs meant for ailments like antimalarial, HIV / AIDS, Ebola and arthritis in different parts of the world.

From remsedivir, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and now – Pyramax®️ – a WHO prequalified artemisinin-based combination therapy for the treatment of malaria, which contains active substances like pyronaridine tetraphosphate and artesunate.

Registered as a frontline drug of choice in the treatment of malaria. Pyramax has officially been approved for clinical trials in South Korea to compare and evaluate its efficacy and safety in treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, equivalent of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in South Korea has allowed the product manufacturer Shin Poong Pharmaceuticals to conduct clinical trials of Pyramax which has currently entered phase II at four medical institutions in the Asian country.

According to a South Korean news site, Pyramax was licensed as a new drug in the country in 2011.

Korean Biomed also reports that the shares of Shin Poong Pharmaceuticals have shot up since the first outbreak of COVID-19 in Korea on January 20, courtesy of the discovery that Pyramax has the potential to combat the virus.

The Korean Pharmaceutical’s stock price surged 168 percent to close at 19,050 won ($15.67) Friday, compared with 7,120 won (local currency) recorded on January 20 and reached a peak of 25,000 won over the past 52 weeks. Since the nation confirmed the first case, Shin Poong drew investors’ attention as the company’s antimalaria treatment was mentioned as a candidate for COVID-19 treatment.

Since its outbreak, the pandemic has opened up a yawning market for vaccines, diagnostic kits and for essential medicines that show potential for COVID-19.

Several antivirals have been tested worldwide with renowned scientists predicting that humanity has a higher chance of developing a potent drug using different compositions of conventional antiviral medicines rather than trying to research and develop a totally new drug.

The world is gradually watching closely to see how the promises of Pyramax would pan out once it scale the Phase II clinical trials.

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