FILE PHOTO: A box of the drug Ivermectin, made by Biogaran, is pictured on the counter of a pharmacy, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Paris, France, April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

MANILA, Philippines — The recruitment of participants for the clinical trials on the use of ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment will start in November and the initial results may be out by the end of December, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Saturday.

According to DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina Guevara, pre-clinical trial activities for the ivermectin study are already ongoing.

She said the identified study sites are the Ateneo Quarantine Facility, La Salle Quarantine Facility, University of the Philippines Diliman, and the Makati Science High School Quarantine Facility.

“Posible din na magrecruit tayo sa Region 2 at 11 kapag kinulang. Ang ating patient recruitment ay mag-uumpisa ngayong Nobyembre at ang release ng preliminary results ay sa end ng December 2021,” she said at the Laging Handa public briefing.

(We may recruit additional participants in Region 2 and 11. Patient recruitment will start this November and the release of preliminary results will be by the end of December.)

Guevara noted that the UP Manila College of Pharmacy is formulating the ivermectin capsules to be used in the clinical trials.

She said the study will assess the efficacy, safety, and effect on the viral clearance of ivermectin to asymptomatic and non-severe COVID-19 patients in the said isolation facilities.

The government has allocated P22 million for the conduct of the study.

At present, ivermectin is only approved for human use as an anti-nematode drug. Health authorities have stressed that there is still no evidence that ivermectin can be a treatment for COVID-19.


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