Chinese firm's COVID-19 drug claims draw scientists' skepticism

Chinese firm
# 14 May 2021 07:16 (UTC +04:00)

Chinese biotech firm Kintor Pharmaceutical Limited 9939.HK saw its stock price jump by more than 20% the day after it announced on April 25 that it had "completed the first patient enrollment and dosing" in a late-stage U.S. clinical trial of its experimental COVID-19 treatment, APA reports quoting Reuters.

It was the company's latest announcement about the progress of the drug, Proxalutamide. The Hong Kong-listed company's stock price has nearly quadrupled since March 1 as some analysts wrote about the big sales potential for a COVID-19 treatment. Kintor has seen its market capitalization soar to HK$23.4 billion ($3 billion) from HK$6.6 billion ($850 million) on March 1.

But the company had not dosed any patients at all as of early May, according to the doctor Kintor identified as its principal clinical trial investigator in documents it posted on a U.S. trials website. The doctor - California-based gastroenterologist Zeid Kayali - also told Reuters he was "not in charge" of the trial, contradicting what the company had said in the documents describing the study. Kayali declined further comment, referring questions to Kintor.