The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Wednesday, June 16, that the clinical trials on the use of Ivermectin as a treatment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) could be expected by next month.
Based on the report of the DOST’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) to DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña, the eight month-long study to be spearheaded by Dr. Aileen Wang, will likely be conducted on July 1.
“Our target is July 1,” DOST-PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya relayed to the DOST chief, explaining that the clinical trials have yet to be approved by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Montoya reported that they are targeting to secure the “technical approval within the week”, citing that the techical panel introduced revisions to the research protocol. The protocol includes the timeline of the clinical trial and the target participants.
On May 29, the DOST announced that the study, which will be conducted by a research team from the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila- Philippine General Hospital (PGH), will likely be implemented by “fourth week of June”.
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
Montoya had disclosed that the technical review of the protocol and the ethics review may take “around two to three weeks” and will depend on the reviewers.
In a virtual briefing on June 8, Wang said the clinical trials involve quarantine centers near PGH, the largest COVID-19 referral center in the country.
A total of 1,464 asymptomatic and non-severe Filipino COVID-19 patients who are at least 18 years old will be involved in the study.
In April, the DOST said clinical trial projects will require a minimum of six months and can extend to years.
Montoya said the study will involve patients with “non-severe” or those with mild to moderate cases.
Early May, Montoya said the clinical trial results could be expected by January 2022 or by first quarter of 2022.
In a meeting with President Duterte on April 19, de la Peña announced that a clinical trial on the use of Ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment will be conducted in the country.
The DOST chief said he and Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III agreed on April 17 to push through with the clinical trial with the DOH allocating funds for it.
The government has allocated P22 million for the conduct of the Ivermectin clinical trials.