WHO’s Solidarity Trial for COVID-19 Patients Approved in the Philippines: 20+ Hospitals Involved

WHO’s Solidarity Trial for COVID-19 Patients Approved in the Philippines 20+ Hospitals Involved

The Philippines Department of Health reports they will commence participation in the large-scale COVID-19 clinical trial known as the Solidarity Trial. Sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), the study initially will include at least 500 COVID-19 patients in 20 hospitals. A prominent professor from the University of the Philippines will serve as Principal Investigator.

The Solidarity Trial

TrialSite News introduced the Solidarity Trial as a “mega-trial” organized to identify potential SARS-CoV-2 treatments.  Specific drugs involved in this study include remdesivir (Gilead), chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine and antiviral drugs used to treat HIV Lopinavir with Ritonavir, and Lopinavir with Ritonavir plus Interferon beta-1a. Over 100 countries are now participating. To date, the study has randomized 1,200 patients from the first five participating countries. Countries participating or now ramping up include Malaysia, Thailand, Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland.

Regulatory Approval

The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) approved the participation in the study via a Single Joint Research Ethics Board (SJREB) on April 17 in support of the COVID-19 global response.

Lead Research/Investigator in the Philippines

Dr. Marissa Alejandria of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and the President of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases will, in close collaboration with the DOH and the WHO.  

Solidarity Trial in the Philippines

In the Philippines, the study will be conducted in at least 20 Level 3 hospitals nationwide. SJREB is a Level 3 Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) accredited research committee which conducts joint research review of study protocols for at least three (3) sites in the nation. Level 3 accreditation means that the SJREB can review all types of research, including clinical drug trials. The board is composed of seven permanent members and site representatives.

WHO acting Representative Dr. Socorro Escalante and Dr. Tauhid Islam commented, “We are glad to partner with the Philippines and other countries around the world to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19. The more countries that will be participating in the Solidarity trial, the quicker will see the results.”

Participating Sites

Philippines Department of Health spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire informed reports that the following sites would be participating in this study:

  • Philippine General Hospita, Manila
  • The Medical City in Pasig City
  • San Lazaro Hospital, Manila
  • Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City
  • Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City
  • Baguio General Hospital, Benguet
  • East Avenue Medical Center, Quezon City
  • Makati Medical Center, Makati City
  • St. Lukes Medical Center Global
  • St. Lukes Medical Center Quezon City
  • University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Medical Center, Quezon City
  • Cardinal Santos Medical Center, San Juan
  • Manila Doctors Hospita, Manila
  • Manila Medical Center, Manila
  • Chinese General Hospital, Manila
  • San Juan de Dios Medical Center, Pasay City
  • Diliman Doctors Hospital, Quezon City
  • University of Santo Thomas Hospital, Manila
  • Vincente Sotto Medical Center, Cebu City
  • Southern Philippines Medical Center, Davao City
  • World Citi Medical Center, Quezon City

Lead Research/Investigator

Dr. Marissa Alejandria of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and the President of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Call to Action: A number of people in the TrialSite Network are based in the Philippines and expressed interest in the Solidarity Trial in that country. WHO’s contacts for more information include the following: Gina Maramag and Ms. Faizza Tanggol—see link here.