By Analou De Vera
A new anti-dengue drug developed by Filipino researchers may be available in the market by the end of 2020, experts said.
“We appreciate the DOST (Department of Science and Technology) for coming up with that supposed medicine for dengue,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III in an interview Saturday.
“We will appreciate [it] even better if they can send us a literature of what are the effects of this new anti-dengue drug purportedly has,” Duque added.
Last week, Dr. Rita Grace Y. Alvero, program leader of the dengue herbal clinical trial from Pharmalytics Corp., told the “Talakayang HeaRTbeat” that the Filipino researchers are hopeful that the new drug will be approved for marketing by the end of 2020.
In that same health forum, Dr. Jaime Montoya of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), said the new drug is the very first in its class.
The research for the new drug is part of the DOST’s “Tuklas Lunas” program aimed at strengthening “the capacities of both researchers and the local industry in drug discovery and development.”
“The DOH welcomes the research being done by DOST and our local scientists. We are very excited and look forward to the development of the drug,” Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo said.
Domingo said that the DOH is looking forward to the drug’s full development as it may help in addressing the dengue problem in the Philippines.
According to DOH records, a total of 414,532 dengue cases have been recorded nationwide from January 1 to November 30.
The figure is 86 percent higher compared to the 222,849 cases recorded during the same period last year, the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau said in its latest Dengue Surveillance Report.
The report also showed that Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) had the most number of cases with 70,216; followed by Western Visayas with 58, 093; National Capital Region with 38,576; Central Luzon with 34,732; and Central Visayas with 28,306.
Last August, the DOH declared a national dengue epidemic amid the increasing number of dengue cases nationwide.