MANILA—A Chinese biotech firm is planning to conduct a clinical trial in the Philippines for its experimental prostate cancer drug as treatment against COVID-19 infection, the Department of Health disclosed Friday.
The drug called proxalutamide, which is developed by Kintor Pharmaceuticals, is a nonsteroidal antiandrogen originally conceived for the treatment of prostate and breast cancer, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
"Meron na pong nakasalang na magiging trial dito sa atin sa Pilipinas (There will be a trial here in the Philippines) and they have identified the Lung Center of the Philippines for this. They are currently processing the contract," she said in a press briefing.
The Chinese firm intends to start the clinical trial in November, Vergeire added.
Kintor previously touted a Brazilian study of proxalutamide, which claimed a high effectiveness rate.
The Brazil study said proxalutamide showed a 92 perent reduction in mortality risk among hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Proxalutamide does not have regulatory approval and is not available for sale.
The Brazil study of the drug has not been peer-reviewed or published, but the authors released a short presentation of its results during a March news conference.
One of the study's authors, Brown University dermatology professor Carlos Wambier, called its results "very encouraging."
Courtesy of the Department of Health
—With a report from Reuters