Philippines Hopes to Start Avigan Trial in July

MANILA/TOKYO – Clinical trials in the Philippines will begin soon for the Japanese antiviral drug Avigan, also known as favipiravir, to determine if it is effective in treating the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

In an online media forum on Tuesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the Department of Health (DOH) is only waiting for the clearance from the ethics committee and a regulatory clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before it could start the clinical tests of the Japan-made drug.

“Hopefully, pagdating ng July, sana mga second or third week, makakapag-umpisa na tayo ng Avigan trial,” she told reporters.

The Japanese government has pledged to provide free supplies of Avigan to the Philippines sufficient for at least 100 patients.

The DOH has allocated P18 million for the study, which will be conducted at Sta. Ana Hospital, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Metro Manila.

Avigan was developed by Fujifilm Toyama Co. Ltd. - Florenda Corpuz

(Photograph courtesy of ©FUJIFILM Corporation)