MANILA – The Philippines is interested in participating in Russia-led clinical trials for a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine, Russian Ambassador to Manila Igor Khovaev said Thursday night.

"The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Philippines has approached the Embassy with a proposal to participate in clinical trials for vaccine development through partnership with a competent Russian institution," he told the Philippine News Agency, referring to the State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR.

According to Khovaev, the Novosibirsk-based institute has so far achieved "promising results" in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.

"We recommended the DOST to get in touch with the said Center," he said.

Khovaev also said Russian pharmaceutical company Polysan has offered to donate "an unlimited supply" of Cycloferon for Covid-19 patients in the Philippines.

He said the medicine "has proven effective against a wide variety of viral infections" and that the same drug was given to Indonesia early April.

"We officially conveyed the relevant offer to the Philippine partners. As far as I know, it has been under consideration," he said.

Khovaev stressed these efforts reflect the improving ties between Russia and the Philippines.

"Trials and challenges may not be particularly pleasurable but apart from all hardships and ordeals, the Covid-19 crisis provides us with new opportunities," he said.

"I am happy and proud to state that the cooperation and friendship between Russians and Filipinos is a real fact, not propaganda. Our partnership based on common humane values has endured a stiff test with flying colors, thereby creating unprecedented preconditions for developing and strengthening a fruitful collaboration in the post coronavirus period," he added. (PNA)