Japan has provided anti-viral flu drug Avigan to the Philippines for possible coronavirus treatment, its embassy in Manila said Thursday.
Avigan tablets will be tested on 100 patients in the country and that the donation of the drug is part of its emergency grant aid to countries severely affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
"Japan-made anti-flu drug Avigan has drawn interest from many countries for its potential to prevent viral replication, even as its effectiveness against the novel coronavirus is yet to be established," an embassy statement said.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Philippines received around 199,000 Avigan tablets from Japan for the trials.
"In response to the requests received from the international community, Japan has formed close cooperation with several countries, including the Philippines, to expand clinical research on Avigan as treatment for this infectious disease."
Each recipient government, it noted, "has acknowledged Avigan’s proper usage and prescription in view of its known adverse side effects."
"Japan hopes that this ongoing cooperation with the Philippines would further contribute to the advancement of clinical research to contain the COVID-19 pandemic," the embassy said.
Clinical trial of Avigan came amid spike in COVID-19 infection in the Philippines, which is now a virus hotspot in Southeast Asia, overtaking Indonesia Thursday with 119,460 infections. -- BAP, GMA News