Pfizer won’t conduct clinical trials in PH, but talks ongoing with the company, other coronavirus vaccine makers — DOH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) — Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will not conduct coronavirus clinical trials in the Philippines but the Philippine government will continue negotiations with the manufacturer and other vaccine makers, a Department of Health official said Monday,

“Nagbigay sila ng information na hindi sila gagawa ng clinical trial sa Philippines because they are well advanced already with their Phase 3 clinical trials. Baka end of October tapos na ang kanilang clinical trial,” Health spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters in a media forum.

[Translation: They have given us information that they would not hold clinical trials in the Philippines … They might be finished with Phase 3 of the clinical trials by the end of October.]

Phase 3 of the clinical trial is the critical stage is where thousands of patients have to be inoculated with the vaccine to test its safety and efficacy. It is also usually the final step before approval for mass rollout.

Vergeire said they talked to Pfizer on Friday about a possible product supply deal, but they made made "no commitment" and did not place an advanced order as they need to follow the procurement law.

She said they will also finalize a confidentiality disclosure agreement or CDA with the vaccine maker. She stressed the CDA is a safeguard measure for both parties, and that it is vital to secure sensitive data being exchanged with others.

Other vaccine talks

The official said they are also coming up with a CDA with US-based firm Moderna, which is also working on a potential vaccine against the coronavirus.

Authorities from the Philippines are also set to meet with biotechnology company CSL Ltd. and the University of Queensland in Australia even if they are still in the early stage of coronavirus vaccine development.

Meanwhile, the country’ vaccine expert panel has sought clarifications regarding the documents submitted by developers of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V. The documents shared with the Philippine government contain the findings of Phase 1 and 2 of the clinical trials of Sputnik V. Officials are awaiting the response of manufacturer Gamaleya research institute, Vergeire added.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier confirmed the Philippines will join the Phase 3 of the Sputnik V, which will be fully funded by Russia. Around 1,000 people will be randomly selected from areas with high COVID-19 transmission to join the medical experiment.

READ: 1,000 Filipinos to join Russia vaccine clinical trial