DOST: VCO clinical trials complete; trials for other therapeutics underway

Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 07 2020 03:15 AM

Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) student-scientists test samples of coconut products at a PCA laboratory in Quezon City on July 3, 2017. File

MANILA – Clinical trials for virgin coconut oil as an adjunctive therapeutic for COVID-19 at Santa Rosa Community Hospital in Laguna have ben completed, according to Science and Techonology Sec. Fortunato Dela Peña. 

Speaking to reporters in an online forum on Friday, Dela Peña said 57 suspected and probable COVID-19 patients were subjected to the trial and given meals, some of which contained VCO. 

“All of them have completed already the consumption of meals from FNRI. Half of them contained VCO and half which is the control group did not contain VCO. They were subjected to tests to determine indicators in their body during day zero, day 14 and 28,” Dela Peña said. 

Statistical analysis of the study has been done, which the DOST hoped would be finished by next week. 

Besides virgin coconut oil, trials for lagundi have begun while those for tawa-tawa were also slated to commence. 

Lagundi, known to relieve cough, will be tested to see if it can also help relieve symptoms of COVID-19. 

Tawa-tawa on the other hand, is a health supplement usually taken by dengue patients. 

Last October 30, the ethics board approved trials, which will take place at the Philippine General Hospital, Quezon Institute and Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Negros Occidental. 

Dela Peña said that while vaccine trials in other countries have begun, no definite date in December has been given for the WHO solidarity trials for vaccines in the country. 

The Philippines will be graced by WHO solidarity trials and independent clinical trials of other vaccine manufacturers, including that of China’s Sinovac and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute. 

“Sa Sinovac, tapos na ang evaluation ng VEP. hinihintay na lang ang clearance from ethics board bago iendorse sa FDA. Sa Gamaleya Institute, meron pang hinihihingi na additional data sa phase 1 and 2,” Dela Peña said. 

He said there were also manufacturers seemingly not keen on conducting clinical trials but instead were more interested in the country procuring their vaccines. 

The secretary assured their role in the research and development of mitigations for the disease were carefully carried out. 

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