The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has announced that the team tasked to look into the efficacy and safety of Laguna tablets or syrup as a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) therapeutic or supplement is set to conduct its data analysis for its placebo-controlled clinical trial next week.
During President Duterte’s televised public briefing on Wednesday night, May 5, DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the two-stage, randomized and placebo-controlled lagundi clinical trial is expected to be completed soon.
He said the overall aim of the 10 month-long project is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Laguna tablet/syrup in patients without co-morbidities suspected or with confirmed mild COVID-19.
“Ito pong lagundi ay approved cap remedy ‘no pero sinusubukan po natin kung: una, makapagpapabilis sa pag-recover nung ating COVID-19 patients; at pangalawa, kung ito ay makakapagpababa ng probability na siya ay maging severe ano. (Lagundi is an approved cap remedy, but we are trying to look at if: first, it could speed up the recovery of our COVID-19 patients; and second, whether it could lower the probability that it will become severe),” de la Peña said.
The first stage of the trial is the dose-finding and safety study, which was conducted at the Quezon Institute and at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Camp Bagong Final Special Care Facility.
De la Peña said the screening and recruitment of participants for Stages 1 and 2 of the trial “are already completed.”
The project has enrolled a total of 278 participants from seven quarantine facilities, he noted.
“Kaya inaantay na lang natin na magsagawa ng analysis para dito. At iyan po ay isang makatutulong din kung lalabas talaga na makakapagpabilis nang paggaling ng mga pasyente (We are just waiting for them to conduct an analysis for this. And that is also something that will help if it really turns out that it can speed up the recovery of patients),” the DOST chief said.
The project is headed by Dr. Cecilia Nelia C. Maramba-Lazarte of the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila-National Institute of Health (UP-NIH) and is implemented for 10 months, from July 13, 2020 to May 12, 2021.
In late March this year, Lazarte of the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila announced that the lagundi clinical trial is expected to be completed soon.
In July 2020, it was announced that the clinical trial for lagundi was approved by DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). In April last year, the DOST started looking into the effectiveness of certain herbal medicines against COVID-19.
Lagundi is widely used as a cough remedy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the clinical trial for lagundi as a supplemental treatment against COVID-19 in August 2020.