S.Korea Celltrion's candidate COVID-19 drug gets approval for special-case use

SEOUL, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Doctors can administer South Korean pharmaceutical maker Celltrion Inc’s candidate COVID-19 antibody treatment to patients with life-threatening conditions, health authorities said on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety approved CT-P59 under its patient treatment scheme on Friday, its website showed.

Under the scheme, patients with life-threatening conditions and with no other means of treatment can receive drugs still undergoing clinical trials, the ministry said.

Celltrion is conducting second- and third-phase clinical trials for CT-P59, and plans to seek emergency-use approval for the treatment before year-end, a company spokesman said.

The treatment is expected to be administered to the first patients “soon”, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency official Kwon Jun-wook said in a briefing on Tuesday. (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Christopher Cushing)