MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to launch the clinical trials on six drugs that are candidates for the treatment of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
According to FDA Director General Eric Domingo, the selected drugs are based on the updates from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the agency that has been helping the FDA in searching for a potential vaccine for COVID-19.
The FDA, however, has not disclosed the details on the six candidate vaccines.
In addition to these, Domingo said the Philippines is now preparing to join the Phase 3 Clinical Trials together with other participating countries.
“Posibleng mag-apply at magsasagawa ng Phase 3 Clinical Trials on candidate COVID-19 vaccines sa bansa [We may apply and conduct a Phase 3 Clinical trials on candidate COVID-19 vaccines here in the country],” Domingo said.
“Pinag-uusapan na rin ang pakikilahok ng Pilipinas sa gagawing Solidarity Vaccine Trials ng World Health Organization [There are also discussions on the participation of the Philippines in the upcoming Solidarity Vaccine Trials by the World Health Organization],” he added.
Five of the 166 COVID-19 candidate vaccines that are already in the Phase 3 Clinical Trials include:
- Sinopharm- Wuhan Institute of Biological Products
- Sinopharm- Beijing Institute of Biological Products
- Astrazeneca- University of Oxford
- Moderna/ NIAD
The FDA clarified that though the agency is not involved in the clinical trials, it is the one that regulates the clinical products such as vaccines for public use.
“Kapag napatunayan na ligtas at epektibo ang mga produktong ito, puwede na silang mag-apply for registration sa FDA upang maging available ang mga ito sa merkado,” Domingo explained.
[Once a product is proven safe and effective, the owner may apply for registration to the FDA so it may be available to the market.]
In his state of the nation address, President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned that a vaccine for COVID-19 may soon be out specifically by September this year.
The FDA clarified, however, that developing a vaccine may take months to years, not to mention the strong scientific evidence from clinical trials and the effectiveness and safety of the product for human consumption.
Nonetheless, the FDA is prioritizing the review of a number of applicants for potential vaccine and treatment for COVID-19.
The agency stressed, however, that there is no vaccine or drugs that have been approved yet to be taken by COVID-19 patients.
All drugs that have been selected for trial are still on trial stage and undergoing experts’ evaluation.
“Wala pa pong bakuna kontra COVID-19, kahit saang bansa [There is no vaccine yet for COVID-19 anywhere in the world],” he added.
“Ipakita ninyo po sa amin. Ipadala ninyo po sa amin ang mga detalye at bahala po ang mga ahente namin na manghuhuli dahil mga manloloko po iyan [Show us the product. Send the details to us and our agents will track them and process their arrest because those are fraudulent],” Domingo stressed. –MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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