THE Philippines is willing to join the other countries in conducting clinical trials of Avigan, a Japanese anti-viral drug, for potential treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday.
Duterte made the remarks during his address at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (Asean) Plus Three Summit on Covid-19 with Japan, China and South Korea.
“The Philippines is ready to participate in clinical trials and medical studies of potential vaccines and medicines such as Avigan. We are confident our scientists and experts within and outside our region will rise to this colossal challenge. A vaccine and/or treatment must be found sooner rather than later,” Duterte said.
Researches at Wuhan University and other institutions in China have revealed that Avigan, developed by a subsidiary of Japan-based Fujifilm Holdings Corp., is seen as an effective drug in treating Covid-19.
Japan has begun conducting clinical tests to examine the effectiveness and safety of Avigan, otherwise known as Favipiravir, to Covid-19 patients.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga earlier announced the Japanese government’s plan to offer Avigan for free to nations hit by Covid-19 pandemic.
Suga said some 30 countries have made requests to Japan for the procurement of Avigan.