DOH: PHL trials for Japan’s anti-viral drug Avigan have not started yet

This photo illustration taken on October 22, 2014 shows Avigan, produced by Japan’s Fujifilm, on display in Tokyo. Japan’s Fujifilm said on April 1 it has begun clinical trials to test the effectiveness of its anti-flu drug  in treating patients with COVID-19 after reports of promising results in China. (Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/ AFP)

(Eagle News) — Philippine trials for Japan’s anti-viral drug Avigan as potential treatment for COVID-19 patients have yet to start.

Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire said the trials were supposed to start on Aug. 17 but there were “a lot of processes na hindi pa natatapos.”

The DOH first said the trials may start on Aug. 10.

She said so far, only the Philippine General Hospital has gotten the go-signal to serve as a site for the clinical trials.

Apart from PGH, the DOH had said the Sta. Ana Hospital, Dr. Jose M. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, and Quirino Memorial Medical Center would serve as clinical trial sites.

According to Vergeire, the trials will start next month, barring hitches.

Filipinos are participating in several clinical trials for potential COVID-19 vaccines, too.

The Philippines has offered to be a site for Phase 3 of the clinical trials for a potential Russian vaccine, which has been approved by the Russian government.

Those trials are expected to run from September to March 2021.

In the UAE, the Department of Foreign Affairs said hundreds of Filipino volunteers are also taking part in Phase 3 clinical trials of  a potential vaccine being developed by Chinese company Sinopharm.