Philippines Continues to Coordinate with Japan for Delivery of Avigan

MANILA/TOKYO – The Philippine Health Department is continuing its close coordination with the Japanese government for the shipment of the antiviral medication Avigan, while preparing to start the clinical trials of the potential COVID-19 drug.

“Ang protocol para sa trial na ito ay sumasailalim ngayon sa ethics review. Pagkatapos nito, ire-register na ang gamot na ito para sa clinical trials sa FDA, ito ang ahensya na may mandato sa regulation ng clinical trial na ginagawa sa ating bansa,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a virtual presser Friday.

She added, “Patuloy din po ang ating pakikipag-ugnayan sa pagde-deliver ng gamot na Avigan.”

Vergeire also identified Sta. Ana Hospital, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Metro Manila as the three medical facilities that will serve as “possible study sites” for the clinical tests of the Japan-made drug.

The Department of Health (DOH) has allocated P18 million for the clinical trials of Avigan, which will be tested on 80-100 patients.

The Japanese government has pledged to provide free supplies of Avigan to the Philippines and 42 other countries for clinical studies on its efficacy as a COVID-19 drug.

Avigan, also known as favipiravir, was developed by Fujifilm Toyama Co. Ltd. - Florenda Corpuz

(Photograph courtesy of ©FUJIFILM Corporation)