PH expected to join COVID-19 clinical trials by last quarter of 2020–Palace
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is expected to join clinical trials for the development of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the latter part of 2020, Malacañang said Sunday.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has expressed optimism over news that clinical trials for the development of COVID-19 vaccines,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
“We expect involvement in the vaccine clinical trials by the last quarter of 2020 with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) taking a lead role,” he added.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the country’s participation in clinical trials aiming to develop a vaccine against COVID-19.
The country will be collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Science in Guangzhou Institute of Health, SinoPharma in Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, and Beijing Institute, the IATF said.
A working group led by the DOST will work with the Department of Health (DOH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) on the progress of the clinical trials.
“The President wants to save the life of each and every Filipino; and thus places great interest [in] these clinical trials,” Roque said.
Meanwhile, the establishment of the DOST-proposed Pharmaceutical Development Center and the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippine may start this year once approved by the President, Roque said.
“If and once approved by PRRD, both can start in 2020, with the Pharmaceutical Group and the Virology Research Group evolving out of DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI),” Roque said in a separate statement.
The President has repeatedly expressed support for the development of a vaccine against COVID-19, even bringing it up during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.
He also offered a P10 million reward to any Filipino who can discover a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.
Duterte also said he would lift all quarantine measures being enforced in the country once a vaccine is developed.
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