Recruitment of volunteers for PH clinical trial for tawa-tawa as COVID-19 treatment still ongoing — DOST

Published August 27, 2021, 11:35 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is seeking more participants for its ongoing randomized controlled clinical trial on the efficacy and safety of tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta) extract as an adjunctive coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment for mild to moderate cases.

Tawa-tawa (Manila Bulletin File Photo)

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development (R&D) Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara said a total of 130 COVID-19 patients have so far been enrolled to participate in the trial.

“The recruitment of participants is still ongoing,” she told the Manila Bulletin on Friday, Aug. 27.

She said the project team, headed by Dr. Philip Ian Padilla of the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas has already recruited 130 COVID-19 patients, 125 of whom are mild cases. The five remaining patients are moderate cases.

“Interim results would be provided once the study has recruited 150 patients,” Guevara said.

The 11-month study seeks to assess the efficacy and safety of Tawa-tawa as an adjunctive treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients.

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña De la Peña had noted that the study employs an interventional, randomized controlled phase II dose-finding study involving 280 patients.

He announced in May that the UP Visayas and Corazon Locsin Memorial Hospital signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the project.

Padilla disclosed late March that the clinical trial for tawa-tawa has been slightly delayed “because of bureaucratic red tape.”

Tawa-tawa is known as a supplement for dengue.