Chiral Pharma Corporation clarified on Friday that anti-inflammatory drug Leronlimab is available only for coronavirus patients under a Compassionate Special Permit (CSP).
This after several social media posts claimed that CytoDyn’s Leronlimab is being sold for hundreds of thousands to millions of pesos.
The company said the initial 400 vials made available are being distributed for free for use in various hospitals in the country by critically ill COVID-19 patients under a CSP.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a CSP to only two physicians for the use of Leronlimab to treat COVID-19 patients.
Leronlimab is a humanized monoclonal antibody originally designed to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and cancer.
The immunomodulatory agent is now being used on critically ill patients due to its ability to mitigate the cytokine storm, common in COVID-19 fatalities, the company added.
Chiral Pharma Corporation thanked CytoDyn Inc. in making the drug available to Filipinos amid the upsurge in the number of cases.
“More importantly, Chiral Pharma Corporation is grateful to the regulatory officers, logistics providers, healthcare institutions, pharmacists, and physicians who are working tirelessly hand-in-hand with our patient’s families to provide leronlimab in time to make an important difference,” it said.
“In times like these, it is paramount that we get the most accurate data and information to be instrumental in saving lives.”
In an ANC Headstart report on Friday, April 30, Dr. Randy Nicolas, associate clinical professor for surgery at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital, pushed for the use of Leronlimab as treatment for seriously ill COVID-19 patients.
Former President Joseph Estrada was given leronlimab to treat his COVID-19.
“The biggest improvement was actually his respiration. His demand for oxygen was less. He was able to get off the ventilator. He continued to improve,” Nicolas told ANC.
The FDA had earlier clarified that Leronlimab is not approved by the agency for treatment as it is “an investigational product which is still undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of cancer, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)… and COVID-19.”