Philippines to Start Avigan Trial on Aug. 17

MANILA/TOKYO – Clinical trials in the Philippines will begin next week for the Japanese antiviral drug Avigan, a potential treatment for the new coronavirus, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Wednesday.

“Ang Avigan Trials, ito yung partnership natin with the Japanese government. The medicines are here already. They have provided us with doses for 100 patients. So ito ay dumaan ng approval ng FDA at saka ng Ethics Board para makapag-umpisa tayo,” she told a virtual media forum.

According to Vergeire, four hospitals have been identified as the medical facilities that will serve as study sites for the clinical tests of the Japan-made drug. These are the Philippine General Hospital, Sta. Ana Hospital, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Quirino Memorial Medical Center.

“This project will run for nine months,” she added.

Avigan, also known as favipiravir, was developed by Fujifilm Toyama Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings Corp. It was provided by the Japanese government to the Philippines “as part of its emergency grant aid to countries severely affected by COVID-19,” the Embassy of Japan in Manila said in a statement. - Florenda Corpuz

(Photograph courtesy of ©FUJIFILM Corporation)