Pfizer Inc. has begun clinical trials in the U.S. on an oral anti-viral drug to treat COVID-19 patients, the company said on Tuesday.
The drugmaker, which developed the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. with Germany's BioNTech, said the antiviral candidate showed potent activity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in lab studies, and could be prescribed to patients at the first sign of infection.
Pfizer's candidate, named PF-07321332, is a protease inhibitor that prevents the virus from replicating in cells. Protease inhibitors have been effective at treating other viral pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis C virus, both on their own and in combination with other antivirals, the company said.
Pfizer believes this class of molecules may provide well-tolerated treatments against COVID-19, as currently marketed therapeutics that work on the same lines have not reported safety concerns. The company is also studying an intravenously administered antiviral candidate in an early-stage trial in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
"Together, the two (oral and intravenous candidates) have the potential to create an end-to-end treatment paradigm that complements vaccination in cases where the disease still occurs," Pfizer's Chief Medical Officer Mikael Dolsten said in a statement.
Pfizer's candidate is behind two other oral antiviral therapies, which are in mid-stage trials – the first being developed by rival Merck & Co with Ridgeback Bio, and a second from Roche Holding and Atea Pharmaceuticals.
Gilead Sciences' remdesivir is currently the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for the treatment of COVID-19.
The FDA has granted an emergency authorization to intravenous therapies from Eli Lilly, bamlanivimab alone and in combination with etesevimab, and a combination therapy from Regeneron.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.