PH biotech firm, pharma group eye clinical trials for ivermectin use against COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — IP Biotech Inc. (IPB), in partnership with Ambica International Inc., announced on Saturday they are interested in applying for clinical trials for ivermectin with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“IPB and Ambica seek to work closely with regulators and an independently run clinical trial to validate ivermectin as a treatment for COVID19.” IPB Chairman Enrique Gonzales said in a statement on Saturday, April 10.
IPB said a number of physicians in the country are recommending the use of ivermectin in the treatment against COVID-19, saying the antiparasitic drug has been used to treat COVID-19 patients in Honduras and other regions of the world.
“While vaccines are the core strategy to resolve this pandemic, we must also supplement this approach with affordable treatments.” Enrique added.
Deepu Bhatia, Vice President of Ambica, said he sees a potential for ivermectin use against COVID-19.
“We see tremendous potential in the use of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19, subject to clinical trial validation and regulatory approval.” she said.
Meanwhile, House Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera urged regulators to “keep an open mind” on ivermectin.
“In the absence of an efficient treatment that can be used for the management of COVID-19, our regulators must maintain a more open mind and take a closer look at Ivermectin as a possible cure for the disease, which has so far killed more than 13,000 people across the country,” she said.
At the same time, Dr. Noel Miranda, Scientific Advisor to IPB said that the path to herd immunity is not a clear and straight line partly due to the continued mutation of the virus.
“While vaccines currently offer a certain level of immunity, the lack of it now means that significant numbers of Filipinos will still require post-exposure care” he said.
“This is where access to affordable and effective treatments are absolutely necessary.” he added.
On April 8, the FDA granted a hospital a compassionate special permit for the use of anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to counter COVID-19
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