Leronlimab used as COVID-19 treatment for Erap, says Jinggoy
MANILA, Philippines — Leronlimab was among the products used to treat former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada for COVID-19, his son former Senator Jinggoy Estrada said Monday.
Leronlimab is an investigational product still undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of cancer and human immunodeficiency virus. It is also being investigated for COVID-19 treatment.
According to the younger Estrada, one of his siblings suggested using the product for their father when he was still fighting COVID-19.
“I consulted the doctors of my dad with regards to Leronlimab and they talked among themselves, the team, and they agreed to administer Leronlimab to my father,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
However, he said he cannot confirm if it was Leronlimab that contributed to the recovery of his father.
“I cannot share right now because there are a lot of factors. Marami ring gamot na binibigay sa aking ama aside from Leronlimab. Meron ding remdesivir, etc. So syempre I cannot credit kung ano ‘yung gamot na nagpagaling sa kanya. Mga doktor lang ang makakasagot niyan,” the former lawmaker said.
(I cannot share right now because there are a lot of factors. There are also other medicines given to my father aside from Leronlimab. He was also given remdesivir, etc. Of course I cannot credit which medicine had made him recover. Only doctors can answer that.)
The former president earlier tested positive for COVID-19 but later recovered. His negative test for the disease was revealed also by Jinggoy on April 13. The Estrada patriarch was later brought back to the intensive care unit due to bacterial lung infection but his son said his vital signs are now normal and he may be transferred to a regular room this Monday.
In a statement over the weekend, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it recently granted compassionate special permit (CSP) to use Leronlimab to treat COVID-19 patients.
A CSP is a special permit granted to physicians or hospitals to use investigational drugs for the treatment of seriously ill patients.
FDA Director General Eric Domingo said the CSP was given to “two physicians for two patients.” He refused to divulge more information, citing patient privacy.
However, the FDA clarified that the product is not yet generally approved for COVID-19 treatment.
The drug regulator emphasized that a CSP does not equate with a Certificate of Product Registration or an Emergency Use Authorization, thus it is not an assurance of the product’s quality, safety, and efficacy. It added that no product granted a CSP can be marketed commercially.
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