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Pfizer's Covid antiviral pill may reduce risk of covid hospitalization and death by 89 percent

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 5th November, 2021 07:15:20 PM
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The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said Friday that clinical trials of its experimental Covid-19 pill have been so successful to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 89 percent in high-risk people infected with the virus.

The effect of the drug, a five-day regimen designed to block the virus from making copies of itself, was found to be so strong midway through the study that an independent committee monitoring the clinical trial recommended it be stopped early, report The Wasington Post.

The data has not yet been published or peer-reviewed, but Pfizer said in a news release that it would submit the data to regulators "as soon as possible."
Albert Bourla, Pfizer's chief executive, called the drug a potential "game-changer" in a statement.

"These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients' lives, reduce the severity of Covid-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations."

"This is amazing news. My overall feeling was relief — it's been a long path," said Annaliesa Anderson, the chief scientific officer of Pfizer's bacterial vaccines and hospital medicine division, who leads the program to develop the drug.

Anderson, who has been working on the medicine since January 2020, said it was a "heart-in-your-mouth moment" when she learned the news Wednesday night while driving to Massachusetts for college visits with her daughter.

"We're looking at end-to-end protection and treatment," Anderson said. "We have the vaccine for protection, and now we have an opportunity for treatment."

Pfizer said it planned to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the drug combination "as soon as possible."

If ultimately authorized, it would likely be the second antiviral pill in use in the US in which newly infected people could take at home to help prevent severe illness.

Public health experts have eagerly awaited the arrival of antiviral drugs — and some believe that in the long run, more than one will probably be necessary to create cocktails and combination therapies that ensure the coronavirus doesn't find a way to escape.

 

Source: New York Post