Avigan trials on COVID-19 patients in Philippines to start on August 17

11-Aug-2020 Intellasia | PhilStar | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The Philippines will begin the clinical trials of anti-flu drug Avigan on coronavirus patients on August 17, the Department of Health said Monday.

“We’re ready. The drugs are here [and] protocol has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and our ethics board,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing.

The Avigan tablets sent by Japan last week will be tested on 100 patients to determine the drug’s efficacy on treating the severe respiratory illness.

Vergeire said the study will be randomised and comparative. Patients participating in the clinical trials will be split into two sets: one will be given the existing supportive care for COVID-19, while the other will be given the same supportive care and Avigan tablets.

The health official added the patients who will be part of the study must be between 18 and 74 years old, must agree to use contraceptives and/or condoms and must not have heart and kidney ailments.

Aviganthe brand name of the drug favipiravirwas only approved for use in flu outbreaks that are not being effectively addressed by existing medications in Japan.

Clinical trials in China suggested that it could play a role in shortening the recovery time for patients who have contracted the new coronavirus. But experts cautioned against the use of Avigan on pregnant women as it has been shown in animal studies to affect fetal development.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said the DOH had allotted P18 million for the clinical trials of Avigan on coronavirus patients.

The Philippines has so far reported 129,913 coronavirus infectionsthe highest in Southeast Asia. Of the figure, 67,673 have recovered, while 2,270 have died.



Category: Philippines

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