Update on Coronavirus disease treatment, vaccine research in Philippines

HSBC Philippines
Coronavirus treatment
The Philippines currently has 24 hospitals involved in the W.H.O Solidarity Trials. Photo from W.H.O.

Here are updates on the Coronavirus disease treatment Solidarity Trials and vaccine research being conducted in the Philippines.

Many may not know that the Philippines is taking part in the ongoing Solidarity Trials that are being conducted around the world under the supervision of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) to help find effective treatments for COVID-19.

The W.H.O., in fact, expressed its enthusiasm in partnering with the Philippines in the ongoing Solidarity Trials.

“We are glad to partner with the Philippines and other countries around the world to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19. The more countries that will be participating in the Solidarity trial, the quicker we will see results,” said W.H.O. acting representatives Dr. Socorro Escalante and Dr. Tauhid Islam.

W.H.O.’s May 12, 2020, update indicates that there are 24 level-3 hospitals in the Philippines that are participating in the Solidarity Trials.

Of these 24, there are 12 Philippine hospitals that are actively recruiting patients.

There are currently 87 patients included in the study.

More than 100 countries have joined the Solidarity Trial, with more than 1,200 patients randomized from the first five countries to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations.

They are looking at the efficacy of the following treatments for COVID-19:

  • antiviral Remdesivir
  • antimalarial drug Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine
  • antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV Lopinavir with Ritonavir
  • Lopinavir with Ritonavir plus Interferon beta-1a

COVID-19 VACCINE RESEARCH

There is currently no approved vaccine for COVID-19.

However, according to the May 15 update from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, the agency has conducted exploratory talks with many vaccine research groups and organizations abroad through a panel composed of vaccine experts.

Specifically, the Philippines had online technical discussions and virtual meetings about vaccines and their current stage of development with the following groups:

  • Chinese Academy of Science and SinoPharma
  • Academia Sinica the National Health Research Institute
  • Chang Gung University
  • Adimmune Corporation of Chinese Taipei

“The DOST has already made preliminary assessments as to which of them are of the highest potential to work with,” said the DOST chief.

More talks are being conducted with vaccine research groups in Russia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United States of America.

“We will be involved in Phase Two and Phase Three clinical trials with some of these research organizations,” de la Peña added.

The Philippines has also been conducting clinical trials for the use of Virgin Coconut Oil as a treatment for coronavirus disease infection at the Philippine General Hospital and in CALABARZON hospitals.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the Philippine teams behind the clinical trials and vaccine research to address the coronavirus disease pandemic.

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Eldan Sambatyon
Eldan is an experienced online content writer who finds fulfillment in sharing the good side of the news to Filipinos.