Pfizer CEO says “Success against Covid-19 will likely require both vaccines and treatments”
Vaccines have dominated national and global headlines for most of the past 18 months. However, as we’ve seen in countries like Israel and UK, the number of covid cases continues to rise. On Monday alone, Israel Health Ministry reported close to 11,000 COVID-19 cases, marking a new record since the start of the pandemic. Now, it’s becoming increasingly clear that vaccine alone is not going to end this deadly virus.
Today, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that it’s developing a Covid pill that will be taken alongside the vaccines to combat the covid-19 virus in non-hospitalized, low-risk adults. The new pill, which is being developed in collaboration with Merck & Co., is an experimental oral antiviral drug that patients will be required to be taken twice per day. The drug is expected to be released by the end of this year.
Pfizer said its latest mid-to-late-stage trial will enroll 1,140 non-hospitalized adults diagnosed with coronavirus infection who are not at risk of severe illness. Patients in the trial will be given Pfizer’s pill, known as PF-07321332, and a low dose of ritonavir, an older medication widely used in combination treatments for HIV infection.
In a tweet, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says:
“Success against #COVID19 will likely require both vaccines & treatments,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Wednesday. “We’re pleased to share we’ve started a Phase 2/3 study of our oral antiviral candidate-specifically designed to combat SARS-CoV-2-in non-hospitalized, low-risk adults.”
Success against #COVID19 will likely require both vaccines & treatments. We’re pleased to share we’ve started a Phase 2/3 study of our oral antiviral candidate—specifically designed to combat SARS-CoV-2—in non-hospitalized, low-risk adults: https://t.co/su5VtfbWPX
— AlbertBourla (@AlbertBourla) September 1, 2021
In a statement on its website, Pfizer said: “that the first participant has been dosed in a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of PF-07321332 – an investigational orally administered protease inhibitor antiviral therapy designed specifically to combat COVID-19 – in non-hospitalized, symptomatic adult participants who have a confirmed diagnosis of SARSCoV-2 infection and are not at increased risk of progressing to severe illness, which may lead to hospitalization or death.”
Pfizer began in July a different trial of PF-07321332 in adults with COVID-19 infection who are at high risk of becoming severely ill due to underlying health conditions such as diabetes. The company said it expects initial results from that study sometime this fall.
Back in July, Pfizer said if the trial is successful, it would file for a potential emergency use authorization (EUA) in the fourth quarter of this year