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Now Reading: VACCINE TRIAL | Philippines greenlights clinical trials with China, Taiwan
VACCINE TRIAL | Philippines greenlights clinical trials with China, Taiwan
May 23, 2020 , 05:06 PM

May 23, 2020 – The Philippines has approved clinical trials for a potential coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, joining tests with China and Taiwan, according to the government’s inter-agency task force on addressing the pandemic.

The country has earlier approved two clinical trials to find a cure for the highly contagious respiratory disease – a global solidarity trial for a combination of drugs and a Japanese anti-viral drug Avigan.

In his 8th report to Congress on May 18, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) had raised the possibility of collaborating with the two foreign-based research groups.

The Philippines will be will be working closely with the Adimmune Corporation and Academia Sinica of Taiwan, as well as the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health-Chinese Academy of Science, and SinoPharm (Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and Beijing Institute).

Reuters reported China has two potential vaccines under clinical trials — one of which is an inactivated vaccine, according to Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention director Gao Fu.

It has entered the second phase of clinical trials on Friday. The potential vaccine was developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, under the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the Wuhan Institute of Virology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The decision to join the clinical trials was reached after the DOST recommended to the inter-agency for the management of emerging infectious diseases in its last meeting.

The inter-agency task force has instructed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to facilitate the issuances of permits to conduct trials in the Philippines.

Once completed, the trials will be part of the requirements for the vaccine registration process by the FDA, and the issuance of the Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) for market release in the country according to the IATF.

Apart from these, the Philippines has joined other trials for anti-COVID drugs.

In the president’s report, at least 24 hospitals are actively participating in the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity trials, with 12 of them actively recruiting participants. At least 87 people are enrolled in the trials.

The Department of Health (DOH) has also allocated 18-million pesos for the trials of the drug Avigan. The medication, commonly known as favipiravir, was previously used to treat influenza. There are three identified sites for the Avigan trials with a target of 80-100 test subjects.

The IATF said they also support plans to establish the Virology S&T Institute in New Clark City, and the reactivation of the Pharmaceutical Development Unit in DOST to initiate and strengthen local vaccine development.

(Katrina Elaine Alba/MM)

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