Pfizer begins early-stage study of oral drug to combat coronavirus


Pfizer Inc has began an early-stage U.S. trial of an oral COVID-19 antiviral remedy that could possibly be prescribed to sufferers on the first signal of an infection, the corporate mentioned on Tuesday.

The drugmaker, which developed the primary approved COVID-19 vaccine within the U.S. with Germany’s BioNTech SA, mentioned the antiviral candidate confirmed potent exercise towards SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in lab research.

Pfizer’s candidate, named PF-07321332, is a protease inhibitor that stops the virus from replicating in cells.

Protease inhibitors have been efficient at treating different viral pathogens similar to HIV and hepatitis C virus, each on their very own and together with different antivirals, the corporate mentioned.

Pfizer believes this class of molecules could present well-tolerated therapies towards COVID-19, as presently marketed therapeutics that work on the identical traces haven’t reported security considerations.

The firm can be learning an intravenously administered antiviral candidate in an early-stage trial in hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers.

“Together, the two (oral and intravenous candidates) have the potential to create an end-to-end treatment paradigm that complements vaccination in cases where disease still occurs,” Pfizer’s Chief Medical Officer Mikael Dolsten mentioned in an announcement.

Pfizer’s candidate is behind two different oral antiviral therapies, that are in mid-stage trials – the primary being developed by rival Merck & Co with Ridgeback Bio, and a second from Roche Holding and Atea Pharmaceuticals.

Gilead Sciences‘ remdesivir is presently the one U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for the therapy of COVID-19.

The FDA has granted an emergency authorization to intravenous therapies from Eli Lilly – bamlanivimab alone and together with etesevimab, and a mix remedy from Regeneron.


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