TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Philippine government has announced that it is going to participate in two Taiwanese organizations' clinical trials for Wuhan coronavirus vaccines.
On Sunday (May 24), presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’s (IATF) passed a resolution that approved a proposal by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that the Philippines take part in clinical trials being carried out by four foreign companies and institutions, reported Business Mirror. Among the four entities listed are Taiwanese vaccine manufacturer Adimmune Corporation (國光生技) and Taiwan's top research institute, Academia Sinica.
The organizations will be required to follow the World Health Organization's (WHO's) prequalification process for vaccine approval and standards for coronavirus vaccine target product profiles (TPP). In addition, they must adhere to Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for clinical trials.
The IATF said the FDA will advise the organizations on the process of applying for permission to carry out trials in the Philipines. The foreign companies and institutes must list both the locations where their trials will be held and the names of the researchers who will take part.
The completion of the trials will fulfill some of FDA's requirements for vaccine registration "for issuance of the Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) for market release in the Philippines," according to the IATF. To help kickstart domestic vaccine development, the IATF approved a recommendation by the DOST to establish the Virology S&T Institute in New Clark City as well as reactivate the Pharmaceutical Development Unit at DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute.
In addition, the Philippines will also participate in trials held by two Chinese organizations: The Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health and the China National Pharmaceutical Group’s Wuhan and Beijing institutes of biological products. In the rush to crank out a vaccine, CanSino Biological Inc. and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology have published results showing that nearly half of their trial participants developed a fever, 44 percent reported fatigue, 39 percent reported a headache, and 9 percent reported severe side effects, prompting some Western experts to call the results "not impressive."
As of publication time, the Philipines has had 14,035 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 868 deaths. The country underwent a nationwide lockdown, referred to as "enhanced community quarantine" (ECQ) from March 17 to May 15, and it is slowly relaxing this edict in many areas.