COVID-19 Project Updates

Get here the weekly updates on the DOST-PCHRD supports projects on vaccine related initiatives and for repurposing of existing drugs, supplements and other formulations and clinical trials of candidate drugs/formulations. 

Vaccine-Related Initiatives

Project Title

Implementing Institution

Status

Project Description

Update
(As of 19 November, 2021)

Link to FAQs and other info resource

Solidarity Vaccine Trial in the Philippines: Randomized Trial of Candidate Vaccines for COVID-19

Philippine General Hospital

Ongoing

The Philippines as approved by the IATF Resolution No. 47 participates in the WHO Solidarity Vaccine Trials as part of the country's global commitments to collective and inclusive efforts on COVID-19 vaccine development. It aims to evaluate the safety and efficacy of “several preventive candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccines” under development.

Hospital and community-based sites are already conducting recruitment activities.  

WHO SVT vs. Independent Trials

FAQ

Vaccine Mix and Match


A study evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of mixing different COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine platforms in Filipino adults”, also known as the Mix and Match or MnM

Philippine Society for Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (PSAAI)

Ongoing

The study is a multi-site, convenience sampling, unblinded trial which will determine the safety and immunogenicity of completing the vaccination series with available COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines in those given Sinovac as the first dose.

 

The FDA Clinical Trial Application was approved on 16 November. The study sites may start patient recruitment. 

Site initiation visits were successfully conducted in five sites namely: Marikina City, Manila City, Muntinlupa City, Dasmarinas, Cavite and Davao City.

The Marikina study site started screening of patients.


FAQ

Philippine Vaccine Effectiveness Project: A Post-COVID-19 Vaccination Surveillance Among Filipino Adults

University of the Philippines Manila

Ongoing

The study aims to estimate the vaccine effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines used in the real world setting in the Philippines by immunogenicity and prevention of symptomatic COVID-19. It is expected to determine the duration of protection of the EUA-approved COVID-19 vaccines as well as the possible factors affecting vaccine effectiveness.

A total of 1,823 participants have been recruited. 

FAQ

Repurposing of Existing Drugs, Supplements and other Formulations and Clinical Trials of Candidates Drugs/Formulations 

Project Title

Implementing Institution

Status

Project Description

Update
(As of 19 November, 2021)

Link to FAQs and other info resource

WHO Solidarity Treatment Trials

SOLIDARITY Treatment Trial: Multicenter Randomized Trial of Additional Treatments for COVID19 in Hospitalized Patients

UP-NIH Ongoing The project is conducting clinical trials for potential therapeutic regimens for COVID-19 patients in accordance with the WHO Solidarity Trial Protocol. Final report is underway.  
SOLIDARITY Treatment Trial PLUS: An International Randomized Trial of Additional Treatments for COVID-19 in Hospitalized Patients Who Are All Receiving the Local Standard of Care UP-NIH Ongoing The project aims to compare the effects on major outcomes in hospitals of the local standard of care alone versus the local standard of care plus one of three alternative agents such as Artemether IV, Imatinib PO, and Infliximab IV. The project team has delivered the drugs artesunate and imatinib from DOH to San Lazaro Hospital, The Medical City and PGH. The shipment of Infliximab to the Philippines was already confirmed by the WHO.  

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)

Virgin Coconut Oil as Adjunctive Therapy for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

Philippine General Hospital

Ongoing

The project aims to determine the safety and efficacy of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) as adjunctive therapy for COVID 19 hospitalized patients.

Ongoing data analysis and report writing. The project team will extend the project for two-months to have additional analysis of cytokines and biomarkers.

FAQ

The Beneficial Effects of VCO among Suspects and Probable Cases of COVID-19

Food and Nutrition Research Institute

Ongoing

The project is evaluating the beneficial effects of virgin coconut oil given to suspect and probable cases of COVID-19 who are quarantined in a Center or hospital.

The project team has enrolled a total of 77 study participants. Preparation of technical report is ongoing.

 

 In Vitro Study on the Efficacy of Lauric Acid and Its Derivatives against SARS-CoV-2

Ateneo de Manila University

Completed

The study aims to determine through in-vitro experiments whether lauric acid and its derivatives can prevent or diminish the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2. The data derived from the study can serve as a basis for further clinical studies in animals and humans.

Results of this study show that VCO compounds decrease the amount of virus by 60-90% in mild cases. The results are consistent with the previous literature in terms of VCO’s capability to destroy the virus, but not its capability to prevent viral replication.

 

Lagundi

Two-stage, Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on the efficacy and safety of Lagundi (Vitex negundo) tablets/syrup (NIRPROMP formulation) with standard treatment compared to placebo with standard treatment in patients with mild COVID disease without co-morbidities

University of the Philippines Manila

Ongoing

This project is a randomized, parallel 2 stage clinical trial to determine if Lagundi can provide symptomatic relief for COVID-19 patients as well as determine if it can decrease the number of patients who progress from mild disease to moderate or severe disease.

The study completed the clinical trial last August 12, 2021 with a total of 278 participants enrolled in the study. Lagundi was found to have promising results on the effects in decreasing the symptoms during mild COVID-19 disease especially for anosmia (loss of the sense of smell) and overall relief of discomfort due to other symptoms. There is also no significant adverse event and incidence observed during intervention. Hence, it was concluded that Lagundi can be safely used for the symptomatic treatment of mild COVID-19. The suggested Lagundi dose for adults is 600mg to be given three times a dayfor 10 days.

FAQ

Tawa-tawa

A randomized controlled clinical trial on the efficacy and safety of Tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta L.) extract as an adjunctive treatment for mild to moderate COVID-19 patients

Up Visayas

Ongoing

This study aims to determine the efficacy of standardized aqueous Euphorbia hirta L. (tawa-tawa) spray-dried extract (SDE) as adjunctive treatment for mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. Insights into the possible mechanisms by which E. hirta may prove to be effective against COVID-19 arise from the plant’s content of bioactive flavonoids.

Awaiting submission of the final report.

 

Tocilizumab

Intravenous Tocilizumab as Treatment for Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19

PGH

Ongoing

The study is a randomized controlled trial which aims to evaluate the use of IV Tocilizumab in COVID-19 patients with pneumonia admitted at the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital. The result of the study could provide more insight on the experience and results in the Philippines setting of this potential adjunctive treatment option.

The project completed its clinical trial last September 14, 2021, with a total of 98 patients enrolled in the study. The data validation and analysis are still ongoing.

 FAQ

Melatonin

Melatonin as Adjuvant treatment for COVID-19 in Patients Requiring hospitalization (MAC19 PRO): A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial (RCT)

Manila Doctors Hospital

Ongoing

The project generally aims to determine the effectiveness or efficacy (improvement of survival, less need for intubation and mechanical ventilation, clinical improvement and recovery) and safety of high-dose melatonin (hdM) (100 mg p.o. initially then 3- 4 mg/KBW/day p.o. in 4 divided doses) as adjuvant therapy on top of standard or empirical therapy in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

The project team has already enrolled 139/350 participants on the following hospital sites: (Manila Doctors Hospital, Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Center (tala), The Medical City, San Lazaro Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, San Juan de Dios Hospital, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, Makati Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Manila Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Hospital, and Philippine General Hospital).

To date, data analysis, cleaning and monitoring with the  above-mentioned sites are continuously being done.

 FAQ

Plasma therapy

Evaluation of Plasma Therapy for Retarding Progression and Preventing Complications in COVID-19

UP-NIH

Ongoing

The study aims to determine the clinical effect of blood/plasma transfusions to combat severe infections in humans specifically, on the secondary prevention of death, shock and organ damage in COVID-19.

Recruitment of participants is ongoing. A total of 111 out of the 159 target participants were recruited in the study.

 FAQ

Convalescent Plasma Therapy

Convalescent Plasma as Adjunctive Therapy for Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19

PGH

Completed

To evaluate the efficacy and safety of treatment with anti-SARS-CoV-2 convalescent plasma in preventing disease progression among hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

The study completed the clinical trial last June 30, 2021. Based on the study, the project team concluded that among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, no significant differences were observed in the need for ICU admission between patients given CPT as adjunct to standard of care and those who received standard of care alone. Interpretation is limited by early termination of the trial which may have been underpowered to detect a clinically important difference.

 

Ivermectin

Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Controlled Trial to Assess the Efficacy, Safety, and Effect on Viral Clearance of Ivermectin in Asymptomatic and Non-Severe COVID-19 Patients Confined in Isolation Facilities

University of the Philippines Manila

Ongoing Protocol Revision

The study aims to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and effect on the viral clearance of Ivermectin compared to placebo, in addition to standard of care, among asymptomatic and non-severe patients with confirmed COVID-19 and who are confined in DOH-approved isolation facilities.

The project team has already submitted applications for ethics clearance to UPMREB and SJREB, simultaneously. The protocol was also submitted to UP-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) for technical approval.
Clinical trial application will be submitted to FDA once the ethics and technical clearances are obtained.

Patient recruitment will commence as soon as all clearances are obtained.

 

Seroprevalence

Seroprevalence of SARS COV2 in Communities in the Philippines

RITM

Ongoing

The project aims to determine the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the pediatric and adult age groups in selected communities in the Philippines

The project team already reached the number of target participants in two barangays in NCR. 

Project staff underwent Biosafety Training.

 

Saliva

Suitability of Saliva as an Alternative Clinical Specimen for the Detection of SARS-CoV-2

RITM

Ongoing

The project aims to determine the suitability of saliva as an alternative clinical specimen for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.

 Preparation of final report is on going.