Pfizer Starts Trial of New Pill to Treat Covid-19
Coronavirus vaccine manufacturer Pfizer has begun testing a new treatment for the virus in pill form, designed to be used at the first sign of illness. Pfizer says the drug will bind to an enzyme called a Protease in the body to keep the virus from replicating. Similar drugs have been developed to treat HIV and Hepatitis C.
Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer said, “Given the way that SARS-CoV-2 is mutating and the continued global impact of Covid-19, it appears likely that it will be critical to have access to therapeutic options both now and beyond the pandemic.” Dolsten also said there haven’t been any notable complications in the study yet. Depending on how well the study goes, Pfizer could see the new drug enter new Phase 2 & 3 trials soon.
The trial is going to focus on early infections and Pfizer also plans to explore whether or not the drug can work to protect healthy individuals who have been exposed to the virus. The drug will be given twice a day for five days. Dolsten says, “This is really a potential game changer.”
According to Pfizer, in lab tests the drug has worked against many coronaviruses and is likely to work against variants. More data will come at the American Chemical Society meeting on April 6.
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