With the motive of fighting off the infection in those exposed to the COVID-19 virus, Pfizer is now holding large-scale trials of its anti-COVID pill.
The oral antiviral, which is also being worked on at numerous other companies, would essentially mimic what the drug Tamiflu does for influenza and prevent the disease from progressing to severe, and then potentially curing it.
Pfizer started developing its drug, called PF-07321332, in March 2020 and is testing it in combination with ritonavir, a repurposed HIV medicine. The clinical trial will enroll 2,660 adults who will take part at the first signs of Covid infection or at first awareness of exposure.
The volunteers will be randomly assigned to receive either a combination of PF-07321332 and ritonavir, or a placebo twice a day for five or ten days. The objective is to assess the safety and efficacy of the drugs being studied at preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection and symptomatic disease by day 14.
“We believe that tackling the virus will require effective treatments for people who contract, or have been exposed to, the virus, complementing the impact that vaccines have had,” said Mikael Dolsten, the company’s chief scientific officer.