The Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday that it has already given a go signal for the recruitment of patients who will take part in the clinical trials for the Japanese anti-flu drug Avigan to test its efficacy against COVID-19.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire expressed hopes that they would be able to start the clinical study by next week as they are still finalizing some necessary documents.
“Meron minor comment ang legal service namin for this insurance document [Our legal service has a minor comment for this insurance document],” said Vergeire in an online forum.
“We already gave the go signal to the proponent, they are now going to start recruiting participants for the trial. Pag nakapag-recruit na tayo, hopefully by next week talagang officially starting na tayo [Once we have recruited (participants), hopefully by next week we will really officially start],” she added.
The trials will run for nine months and will be held in four hospitals: Philippine General Hospital, Sta. Ana Hospital, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, and Quirino Memorial Medical Center.
A total of 100 patients are expected to participate in this initiative, the DOH previously said. The clinical trial was supposed to start last July but was delayed because of arrangements needed in its legal documents.