Pfizer begins an early-stage clinical trial testing the oral drug for Covid

Pfizer begins an early-stage clinical trial testing the oral drug for Covid

April 01, 2021:-Pfizer said Tuesday it had begun an early-stage clinical trial of an experimental oral antiviral drug for Covid-19.

The company based in New York said the phase one trial of the drug is being conducted in the U.S. The drug is part of a class of protease inhibitors and works by inhibiting an enzyme that the virus needs to replicate in cells of human bodies.

Protease inhibitors are used to treat other viral pathogens like HIV and hepatitis C.

“Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic requires both preventions via vaccine and targeted treatment for those who contract the virus,” Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, Mikael Dolsten, said in a press release.

“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”, he added.

The trial comes as Pfizer is also working on an intravenously administered protease inhibitor, known as PF-07304814. That drug is currently in a phase 1b clinical trial in patients hospitalized with Covid-19.

A person walks past the Pfizer building in New York City, March 2, 2021.

Pfizer already has an authorized vaccine in the U.S. with German drug maker BioNTech. However, health experts say the world will still need an array of drugs and vaccines to end the pandemic, which has infected more than 29.8 million Americans and killed at least 542,991 in a little over a year data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The company said preclinical studies had shown the oral drug, the first protease inhibitor taken by mouth for Covid-19 to be evaluated in clinical studies, demonstrates “potent” antiviral activity against the virus.

The drug could be used outside of hospitals for people who are newly infected with the virus. Researchers hope the medication will keep the disease from progressing and keep people out of the hospital.

Pfizer said it would provide more details on the drug at the Spring American Chemical Society meeting on April 6.

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