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Pfizer Comes Up With Antiviral Pill, Says Will Cut The Risk Of Severe COVID-19 by 89 Percent

Pfizer antiviral pill, Pfizer COVID pill
Pfizer antiviral pill: The biopharmaceutical company, Pfizer on November 5,  announced an “easy-to-administer” COVID-19 pill which if taken with HIV drug can cut short the risk of hospitalisation for high-risk patients who already had COVID-19 once. They are yet to submit their data to the Food and Drug Administration, if proven right this can prove to be a game-changer in winning the battle against the ongoing pandemic.

Pfizer is the second such biopharma company to come up with an antiviral pill. The first one was Mercks which proved to be effective for “first sign of illness”. According to media reports, they plan on sending the procured data to the administration “as soon as possible”.

The pill that Pfizer has come up with is scientifically called PF-07321332. It is part of Protease Inhibitors, it inhibits an enzyme that the virus needs to replicate in human cells. It is originally used to treat viral pathogens like HIV and Hepatitis C. The HIV drug is required to slow metabolism which is required for the antiviral pill to be effective for long.

Around 1,219 adults with one or more underlying health problems and a lab-confirmed infection within five days were taken for the study. According to Pfizer, participants were given a low dose of popular HIV medication, Ritonavir.

They divided the total number of adults into two teams, ones who received the pill and others who received the placebo. The results showed six hospitalisations and zero deaths out of 607 trial patients versus 41 hospitalisation and 10 deaths out of 612 people who received placebo.

Pfizer’s antiviral and Mercks can be taken by mouth. “These data that our oral viral candidate, if approved by the regulatory body, has the potential of saving people’s lives, reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations,” said the CEO of Pfizer Albert Bourla.

The company did not mention the side effects of the drug but said that 20 percent of “adverse events” happened in both cases with the pill and placebo. The shares of Pfizer has surged by 13 percent to $49. 47 while Merck fell by six percent to $84.69.

(Feature Image credit: CNN)


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