Pfizer Says A Pill To Treat COVID Possibly Available By Year’s End
Pfizer now has an experimental oral drug to treat Covid-19 at the first sign of illness AND it could be available by the end of this year, CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC in a recent interview.
The same company, which developed the first authorized Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. bean early-stage clinical trial testing in March on a new antiviral therapy for the disease.
Can you imagine a pill that taken early enough could actually stop COVID in its tracks?
The drug is in a class of medicines called protease inhibitors and works by inhibiting an enzyme that the virus needs to replicate in human cells.
Naturally-occurring Protease Inhibitors are said to be abundant in legume seeds.
Protease inhibitors are currently used to treat such afflictions as HIV and hepatitis C.
If clinical trials go as planned and the Food and Drug Administration approves it, the drug could be distributed across the U.S. by the end of the year, Bourla told CNBC.
Health experts say the drug, taken orally, could be a game-changer because people newly infected with the virus could use it without needing to enter hospitals.
In addition to the drug, Pfizer is still testing its vaccine in 6-month to 11-year-old children. Vaccinating children is crucial to ending the coronavirus pandemic, public health officials and infectious disease experts say helping the country to reach herd immunity.
Earlier this month, the company asked the FDA to expand its vaccine authorization to adolescents ages 12 to 15 after the shot was found to be 100% effective in a study.
Bourla in the CNBC interview expresses optimism that the FDA will approve the use of the shot in adolescents.