The Philippine Food and Drug Administration has approved the clinical trials for lagundi as a supplemental treatment for individuals infected with the coronavirus disease 2019, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said on Saturday.
"'Yun pong sa lagundi, ang good news po ay naaprubahan na ng FDA ang clinical trials. Ito lang early this week naaprubahan," dela Peña said at the Laging Handa public briefing.
Clinical trials for lagundi will be conducted by the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) personnel, and will be done at the Quezon Institute quarantine center, Santa Ana Hospital, and the Philippine National Police-NCR community quarantine center.
Dela Peña said the trials will be administered for those who have mild cases.
"Ang hangad natin diyan ay ma-address 'yung symptoms na katulad ng ubo, lagnat at mga sore throat. Kasi malaking bagay kung giginhawa ang ating pasyente na may cases diyan sa symptoms na 'yan," he said.
"At titingnan din natin kung bababa ba 'yung probability na mag-progress sila into moderate and severe cases kung bibigyan ng gamot na lagundi," Dela Peña added.
Meanwhile, the FDA has not yet approved clinical trials for tawa-tawa.
Also, Dela Peña said the country's in vitro trials regarding lauric acid, which came from virgin coconut oil, and its derivatives including monolaurin, are being conducted abroad.
"So far po ang finding, merong modest, shall we say reduction ng infectivity ng ating SARS-CoV-2 with the use of lauric acid and monolaurin," he said.
"Dahil po doon, kahit modest lang 'yung reduction, it still justifies our experiments or clinical trials involving VCO against COVID-19. Kasi kahit na modest, nakaka-reduce pa rin sila ng infectivity," Dela Peña added.
Aside from trials being conducted in Santa Rosa, Laguna for the VCO, Dela Peña said they are also planning to expand in Valenzuela City.
The DOST secretary said nearly 40 people in Santa Rosa have already volunteered for the VCO trials, as the agency aimed for 56 volunteers.
"In fact three-fourths po ng ating mga pasyente ay nakauwi na. Ibig sabihin, lumakas na sila, pero kailangan pa po ng talagang analysis at formal report," Dela Peña said.
"Although marami nga ang nagsasabi na kahit mawala ang study na 'yan ay nagte-testionya ang iba na maganda ang epekto ng VCO dahil may anti-viral properties siya," Dela Peña added, as he eyed the completion of the VCO trials within two months. —LBG/KG, GMA News