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Gov’t allows PH to join clinical trials for coronavirus vaccine

MANILA, Philippines – The government cleared the Philippines to join clinical trials of potential vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases on Friday, May 22, approved recommendations from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to let the country participate in clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines being developed by the following groups: Adimmune Corporation, based in Taiwan Academia Sinica, based in Taiwan Chinese Academy of Science - Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, based in China SinoPharma - Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and Beijing Institute, based in China The IATF’s approval is contained in its Resolution No. 39, released to the public on Saturday, May 30. The task force authorized these 4 groups to be provided the following: The World Health Organization’s (WHO) requirements for COVID-19 vaccine target product profiles Pre-qualification process for WHO approvals The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines on clinical trials The FDA is tasked to help facilitate the issuance of official permits for the conduct of the clinical trials. Researchers who will be involved in the clinical trials will have a say on which study sites will be included in the run. Once completed, the clinical trials will be counted among the FDA’s requirements for registering vaccines and allowing their release in the Philippine market. The DOST would lead a new technical working subgroup that woul coordinate with the FDA, Department of Health (DOH), Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, and the WHO on matters related to the clinical trials. The Philippines earlier signed on to participate in clinical trials of the Japanese anti-flu drug Avigan as a possible cure for COVID-19. In late April, the DOH allowed the use of off-label drugs – existing medicines for other ailments – in local clinical trials for a potential cure. On May 14, the DOH said 12 hospitals in the Philippines are part of the WHO s solidarity trial, a trailblazing program aimed at finding a cure against the coronavirus. Unless a vaccine or cure for COVID-19 is developed and made available to the global population, experts believe a return to normal life would be largely impossible. In the Philippines, the DOH has recorded 13,777 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 863 deaths and 3,177 recoveries as of Saturday, May 23. – Rappler.com


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