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Huons tests Belgian company's asthma drug as COVID-19 treatment

By Lim Chang-won Posted : November 6, 2020, 12:51 Updated : November 30, 2020, 12:41

[Courtesy of Huons]

SEOUL -- Huons, a pharmaceutical company in South Korea, will conduct a joint study with a college medical team to see if an asthma treatment produced by a Belgian company is effective in treating those infected with a novel coronavirus.

Huons will work with a team from Korea University Medicine in Seoul to recreate Zephirus produced by Laboratoires SMB S.A. as a COVID-19 treatment. Huons signed an exclusive agreement with SMB in 2017 to market Zephirus, a fixed-dose combination of Budesonide, an inhaled corticosteroid formulation that alleviates lung inflammation, and Salmeterol Xinafoate with a rapid bronchodilation effect.

"Even after the end of COVID-19, a new infectious disease virus can occur at any time," Huons CEO Um Key-an said. "We will gather proprietary materials, research expertise, and know-how from both sides to successfully recreate Zephirus for the treatment of COVID-19 as soon as possible."

South Korea has unveiled a roadmap for the treatment of COVID-19 to develop plasma treatment by the year's end as well as antibody treatment and vaccines next year. Candidates for remedies listed by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety included camostat mesilate, ciclesonide, clevudine, nafamostat mesilate, ifenprodil and baricitinib sold under the brand name of Olumiant.


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