Upon receiving the anti-flu drug from Japan, the Health Department said Friday, the country will launch clinical trials for Avigan soon upon.
As part of its emergency grant assistance, Manila received Avigan tablets for 100 patients from Tokyo for countries “seriously affected” by coronavirus disease. Avigan — approved for use in Japanese flu outbreaks, and used to treat Ebola — is being studied as a possible cure for coronavirus.
Health Under-Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Food and Drug Administration and the Ethics Review Board approved the study aimed at testing the drug’s effectiveness in treating severe respiratory disease.
But the clinical trials for Avigan are unlikely to begin on August 10, Monday as there are still legal documents that need to be completed. Earlier the department identified Sta. Ana Hospital, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, and Quirino Memorial Medical Center as potential sites for trials in Avigan.
Clinical trials in China indicated that Avigan may play a role in shortening recovery time for patients with the new coronavirus contract. Yet experts cautioned against using Avigan on pregnant women, as it has been shown to impact fetal development in animal studies. The coronavirus pandemic has caused 122,754 deaths in the Philippines to date.
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