Duterte: PH ready to participate in clinical trials of Avigan

April 15, 2020
Rodrigo Duterte
ASEAN PLUS 3 SUMMIT — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gives his address as he joins other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member countries, the Republic of Korea, People's Republic of China and Japan during the special Asean Plus Three Summit on Covid-19 video conference at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on Tuesday (April 14, 2020). Duterte said the Philippines is ready to participate in clinical trials of Avigan, a Japanese anti-viral drug, for potential treatment of coronavirus disease. (Presidential photo by Ace Morandante)

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.