Pfizer has Announced a Promising Treatment with Pills against COVID-19

Health | November 5, 2021, Friday // 16:56|  views


Tests of experimental antiviral treatment against COVID-19 by the American company "Pfizer" (Pfizer) in the form of a pill have proved so promising that they have been shortened. The reason is that it reduced by 89% the risk of hospitalization or death in adults at risk of developing a severe form of the disease.

The news was announced by the company itself, referring to data from the second of three phases of testing. Detailed information has not been disseminated. There are no details about treatment side effects, and the report said that some "side effects" were reported in about 20% of those treated with the experimental therapy and the placebo group. A familiar approach has been used, in which cases such as nausea and vomiting have been reported in other cases by other companies.

If the report is confirmed by independent evaluators, the result will be more effective than that of the pill of the American "Merck" (Merck & Co Inc.), which was approved for use yesterday - albeit very limited - in the UK. Merck is about people with at least one concomitant condition such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Reuters explains that, according to infectious disease experts, preventing COVID-19 through mass vaccination remains the best way to control the pandemic.

Pfizer said it plans to present the interim results for the FDA regulator's pill as part of an emergency approval application that began in October (a regime that does not recognize the product for normal use but is considered to be in critical situation, its benefits outweigh the potential risks).

It is a combination treatment under the brand name "Paxlovid" (Paxlovid), which includes ritonavir (ritonavir) - another antiviral drug. The dosage is 3 pills 2 times a day.

The analysis prepared by Pfizer covers hospitalizations and deaths based on 1219 patients diagnosed with mild to moderate COVID-19 and at least one risk factor - old age, obesity, etc. - to develop a serious illness. The company is investigating whether the pill can also be used by people without risk factors, as well as to prevent infection in professionals exposed to the coronavirus.

The interim result showed that among those who received pill treatment within 3 days of the onset of symptoms, only 0.8% had to be hospitalized and no one died 28 days after treatment. In the placebo group, 7% were hospitalized and 7 died.

The data are the same for patients who started treatment within 5 days after the onset of symptoms - 1% hospitalized among those who received what the company calls "Paxlovid" against 6.7% in the control group, which also has 10 deaths.

It is recommended that antiviral pills be given as early as possible - before the infection has developed - to have the best effect. Merck, for example, tested their drug within 5 days of the onset of symptoms.

"We've seen that we're very effective, even if people have waited a few days before being tested or somehow found out they're sick. That means we have time to treat them and really contribute to public health," program manager at Pfizer Analisa Anderson told Reuters. "These data suggest that our product applying for antiviral treatment - if approved by the authorities - has the potential to save patients' lives, reduce the severity of COVID infection and prevent 9 out of 10 hospitalizations," added Albert Burla in an official statement. CEO of Pfizer.

Pfizer uses protease inhibitors, a group of compounds used to treat or prevent infection with viruses, including some of the deadliest. They block an enzyme (protease) that is vital to the virus's existence, causing it to multiply - viruses appear that can no longer infect other cells. Merck's Molnupiravir is based on another mechanism that aims to damage the genetic code of the virus.


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Tags: COVID-19, Pfizer, pill, tests


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