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Philippines to participate in clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines

President Rodrigo Duterte “expressed optimism” at the prospect of the Philippine taking part in clinical trials for possible vaccines against COVID-19 before yearend, according to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, after clinical trials in other countries have started.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) had approved recommendations for the Philippines to join clinical trials for prospective vaccines.

“We expect involvement in the vaccine clinical trials by the last quarter of 2020, with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) taking a lead role,” Roque said in a statement.

Global organizations already developing vaccines include Adimmune Corp. and Academia Sinica, both based in Taiwan; the Chinese Academy of Science–Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, and SinoPharm–Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and Beijing Institute, based in China.

SinoPharm, China’s biggest pharmaceutical company, invited the Philippines to join its vaccine trial which is in its second phase.

The Food and Drug Administration will issue permits to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines.

The President is also considering DOST’s recommendations to reactivate the Pharmaceutical Development Center, and to create a Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines.

The IATF supported the creation of the two centers in the same resolution, stressing the need to “initiate and strengthen local vaccine development towards the country’s vaccine self-reliance and self-sufficiency.”

Roque said the DOST included the formation of the two research facilities in its 2021 budget proposal.

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