A second antiviral pill for Covid-19 cuts rates of hospitalisation and death by nearly 90 per cent among at-risk patients with mild to moderate infections, according to early trial results.
The drug, if taken early enough, prevents the escalation of disease to keep newly-infected people out of hospital. Manufactured by Pfizer, the at-home pill is targeted at the elderly and those with underlying health conditions that make them vulnerable to Covid…
Pfizer said preliminary data from its trial “suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients’ lives, reduce the severity of Covid-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of 10 hospitalisations.”
If the results stand up to scrutiny, the treatment, which consists of three pills given twice daily, could help to alleviate pressure on health services in countries and communities with low vaccination rates….
Pfizer has not yet detailed side effects of the drug, but said adverse events happened in about 20 per cent of the treatment and placebo patients.
Upon the recommendation of an independent group of experts, the study was cut short due to the positive nature of the interim results, with Pfizer announcing that it would be seeking immediate authorisation from international regulators for use of its drug. Full trial data are expected to be published at a later date.
The drug is a protease inhibitor and was originally developed for SARS-CoV-1 in 2003 – the viral predecessor to Covid. It is designed to block an enzyme the coronavirus needs in order to multiply within the body…