Philippines begins clinical trials for anti-flu drug hinh anh 1Avigan drug (Photo: Reuters)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippine started its 90-day clinical trials for Avigan, Japan’s anti-flu drug, on August 17 to study the efficacy of the drug against COVID-19.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the clinical trials will include just four hospitals in Metro Manila initially but more will be included in the future.

Avigan is the brand name of favipiravir, an antiviral drug manufactured by a subsidiary of Japanese firm Fujifilm Holdings Corp., which is seen as a potential treatment for COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

The first set of patients will be given the existing supportive care provided at the hospitals. The second group will receive the same on top of being administered with the drug.

Fujifilm Holdings said last week that it expects to complete clinical tests in Japan of Avigan in September and seek approval.

In the Philippines, 164,474 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded as of August 17, including 2,681 deaths./.