Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral infection, is one of the most enduring health problems in the Philippines. However, that may soon change with the development of the first anti-dengue drug—created in the country. 

Pharmalytics Corporation, the company behind the venture, announced that the miracle medicine is nearing completion. 

According to Dr. Rita Grace Alvero and her team, who pursued the research with the support of the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) and the De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute in Cavite, they’ve already completed the first phase of the drug’s clinical trials with positive results. 

Alvero noted that they’re now going to proceed with the 2nd and 3rd clinical trials after their study was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We expect the study to be completed by the second quarter of 2022,” Alvero told GMA News.

For the 2nd clinical trial, the drug’s usage safety in subjects infected with dengue will be tested while the 3rd clinical trial will compare the “efficacy versus standard treatment.”

“As there is no current treatment for dengue, we combined phases 2 and 3 by comparing two dose levels versus placebo,” Alvero explained.

If proven effective and safe, Alvero said the drug will provide a cheaper and cost-effective treatment for those afflicted with dengue. 

“It will be cheaper than the combined cost of hospitalization, ICU [intensive care unit] stay, blood transfusions and the lost income of caretakers during the illness. For those with financial challenges, this will offer hope and relief,” she emphasized. 

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Image credit: Shardar Tarikul Islam via Unsplash