Philippines identifies 3 hospitals as sites for Avigan clinical trials
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has named three hospitals in the country as sites for the clinical testing of Japanese-made drug Avigan as a treatment for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In an online press briefing Friday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire identified the three hospitals as the Sta. Ana Hospital, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, and Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Metro Manila. The clinical trial will start once the protocols hurdle the ethics review.
“Ang protocol para sa trial na ito ay sumasailalim ngayon sa ethics review. Pagkatapos nito, ire-register na ang gamot na ito para sa clinical trials sa FDA (Food and Drug Administration),” Vergeire said.
(The protocol for this trial is undergoing ethics review. After this, it will then be registered for a clinical trial to the FDA.)
Earlier, the government set aside at least P18 million for the Avigan trials.
Avigan, which is used to treat influenza, reportedly yielded positive results in treating COVID-19 patients in China, especially those with mild symptoms.
DOH earlier said the antiviral drug will be tested on at least 100 COVID-19 patients.
The Philippines is also part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) solidarity trial for four different drugs or combinations, including remdesivir, lopinavir-ritonavir, lopinavir-ritonavir plus interferon beta, and chloroquine, that are seen to have the potential to treat COVID-19.
According to Vergeire, 220 COVID-19 patients in the Philippines are currently enrolled in WHO’s solidarity trial.
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