The eight month-long clinical trials on the use of Ivermectin as a treatment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will likely be conducted by “fourth week of June”, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Saturday, May 29.

(Manila Bulletin File Photo)

Based on the report of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) to DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, the study is being eyed to be implemented “around fourth week of June” once it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The project is initially being eyed to be implemented by first week of June this year to January 2022. It aims to provide data on the efficacy, safety, and effect on the viral clearance of Ivermectin among asymptomatic and non-severe Filipino patients

“Fourth week of June ang estimate (is the estimated schedule),” de la Peña told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message when asked if the Ivermectin clinical trials will push through by first week of June.

In a separate Viber message, DOST-PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya said there is no definite date as to when the clinical trials will be conducted by a research team from the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila- Philippine General Hospital (PGH), headed by Dr. Aileen Wang.

“We don’t know the exact date po since the protocol is still being reviewed technically and then will be sent for ethics review and to FDA. But we hope to start it within the month of June. That is our target,” he said.

The research protocol, which includes the timeline of the clinical trial and the target participants, is expected to be submitted for technical review on Monday, May 31.

Montoya said the technical review of the protocol and the ethics review may take “around two to three weeks” and will depend on the reviewers.

Early May, he said the clinical trial results on the use of anti-parasitic drug as a treatment for COVID-19 could be expected by January 2022 or by first quarter of 2022.

In April, the DOST said clinical trial projects will require a minimum of six months and can extend to years.

Montoya said the Ivermectin clinical trial will involve patients with “non-severe” or those with mild to moderate cases.