News Article

COFEPRIS Joins Global Clinical Trials

By Miriam Bello | Wed, 04/01/2020 - 12:51

On Monday, the General Health Council declared a national sanitary emergency in Mexico due to COVID-19. According to the last update, Mexico has 1,094 confirmed cases and 28 deaths. While many complaints have been externalized, according to WHO, the country has responded in time to the crisis and has also joined the global efforts to generate new knowledge about COVID-19.

Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell exposed the current work of COFEPRIS on four clinical trials on medicines that might confront the virus. According to his statement, this work is being done together with specialists of US institutes.

The first study is on Remdesivir, developed by Gilead Sciences. This medicine was originally created to attack Ebola but has yielded positive results against COVID-19. in response to many accusations saying the company was the only one with access to the medicine, Gilead Sciences said its lab is “mapping out options to make access to investigational Remdesivir more widely available through expedited regulatory processes should it demonstrate the potential to be a safe and effective treatment option based on the results of preliminary clinical trials.

The second trial is on hydroxychloroquine. Novartis has started their donation of about 130 million doses of generic hydroxychloroquine and a further plan to scale its capacity to increase supply. The company is committed to working with manufacturers around the world to meet global demand. Novartis has also stated its intention to work with other laboratories to ensure a global supply.

The third trial is tocilizumab, a medicine in charge of blocking one of the mechanisms that cause inflammation of tissues, in particular lung tissue. Roche has been quick to announce its efforts on advancing trials on tocilizumab with the FDA in the US. “Roche is committed to delivering as much evidence as possible and works tirelessly to increase the availability of evidence for COVID-19,” said the company.

The last clinical trial is on Chloroquine, commonly used to treat lupus. This is one of the drugs also being tested by the FDA. Rising Pharmaceutical, a manufacturer of the drug, reportedly raised the price for this medicine by almost 100 percent in January, when the COVID-19 outbreak started in China. Bayer recently announced the donation of 3 million units of Chloroquine in the US. Although President Trump said this was the approved drug to treat COVID-19, this statement was later denied by the FDA saying that its clinical trials, which are the same ones being carried in Mexico, are still not on the final stage.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst