Enzychem Lifesciences said Monday that it is promoting to conduct the local clinical trials of EC-18, a new coronavirus treatment candidate, and is pushing for cooperation with U.S. government agencies in this regard.
The company said it applied for participating in the MCM (medical countermeasures) COVID-19 program of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, on March 3.
The company is also actively pushing for research cooperation in developing EC-18 as a treatment for COVID-19, with government agencies and research institutes in Korea and China, the two Asian countries hit hardest by the coronavirus.
"COVID-19, which has become a global issue, is known for its serious infectiousness through humans and the severity of the disease through induction of respiratory symptoms and severe pneumonia," the company said. "However, there is no effective prevention or treatment."
According to the company, EC-18 is a substance that allows immune cells to swallow viruses and bacteria quickly and remove them in a short time. The candidate substance swiftly removes pathogens from cells by maximizing the ability to detect pathogens and degrade the swallowed pathogens.
The EC-18's ability to remove viruses and bacteria is a platform technology of the company that minimizes the generation of cytokines and chemokines, which are inflammation-causing agents that prevents infiltration of immune cells, the company added.