DOST studies melatonin, other possible drugs against COVID-19

Experts are now examining a variety of possible anti-COVID-19 drugs, said Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña.

“Mayroon tayong inaaral kamukha noong melatonin kasi nakita po nila sa Med, Manila Doctors na iyong mga . . . matitinding, severe patients ay nagti-take sila ng melatonin,” Dela Peña recommended during the weekly press briefing aired on Monday night.

“Actually pampatulog po ‘yon. Pero nakakabuti po daw kaya inaprubahan din po namin ang sa melatonin at ongoing din.”

Moreover, one is also studying the type of steroid approved the clinical trial said.

“May bago po kaming inaprubahan na clinical trial. Ito po ‘yong gagawin namin ang . . . na ang aming susubukan naman po ay isang bagong pormularyo na iyong tinatawag na methylprednisolone na isa pong steroid,” said chief Dela Peña.

“Mayroon po kasing nasubukan na na gamot iyong dexamethasone pero naghahanap po tayo ng isang katulad noon para hindi tayo magkaproblema sa intellectual property.”

He also examined the properties of Lagundi, Tawa-Tawa, and virgin coconut oil which are possibly effective in curing some symptoms of COVID-19.

studies melatonin, other possible drugs against COVID-19

The drug ivermectin will undergo several months of clinical trials as well.

“Pinakamahina po 6 na buwan, kasi sa clinical trial marami po talagang pinagdadaanan, maliban na lang kung talagang bigla pong magkaroon ng maraming-maraming magbo-volunteer, mapapabilis po,” said Dela Peña.

“At ang plano po dito ay iyong mga quarantine center na malapit sa PGH ang pagsasagawaan nito. Mayroon na rin pong in-allocate na pondo ang DOH para dito sa clinical trials na ‘yan.”

Meanwhile, the chief also reported that the people of the Technological Institute of the Philippines or TIP and Don Bosco have already developed a local ventilator and are testing it in hospitals.

Meanwhile, Glovax Biotech Corp., a local vaccine distribution firm and business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan is partnering to build a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing plant in the Philippines.

According to Glovax Biotech CEO Giovanni Alingog, the firm’s partnership with Pangilinan would be “financial”, with the business tycoon expected to pour in investments for the  of the vaccine plant.