The Pfizer company stated on Tuesday that the final analysis of its new antiviral coronavirus pill has shown 90 percent efficacy in helping to prevent hospitalizations and deaths in those patients who are considered to be high-risk.
Recent data from the lab also suggests that the drug retains its effectiveness against the new omicron variant that is spreading around the world as we speak.
The U.S. drugmaker last month said the oral medicine was around 89% effective in preventing hospitalizations or deaths when compared to placebo based on interim results in around 1,200 people. The data disclosed on Tuesday includes an additional 1,000 people.
Nobody in the trial who received the Pfizer treatment died, compared with 12 deaths among placebo recipients.
The Pfizer pills are taken with the older antiviral ritonavir every 12 hours for five days beginning shortly after onset of symptoms. If authorized, the treatment will be sold as Paxlovid.
Pfizer also released early data from a second clinical trial showing that the treatment reduced hospitalizations by around 70% in around 600 standard-risk adults.
“It’s a stunning outcome,” Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten went on to state in a recent interview.
“We’re talking about a staggering number of lives saved and hospitalizations prevented. And of course, if you deploy this quickly after infection, we are likely to reduce transmission dramatically,” Dolsten continued.
Dolsten stated he fully expects that authorization for use in high-risk individuals from the Food and Drug Administration, along with other regulatory agencies should come around fairly soon. He doesn’t think that any FDA advisory panel meeting will be necessary.
“We’re in very advanced regulatory dialogs with both Europe and the UK, and we have dialogs with most of the major regulatory agencies globally,” Dolsten added.
As of right now, there are no oral antiviral treatments authorized in the United States.
“Rival Merck & Co. has asked for emergency use authorization of its antiviral pill molnupiravir. But that drug only reduced hospitalizations and deaths in its clinical trial of high-risk patients by around 30%,” the Newsmax report said.
There are some scientists who have raised safety concerns about the possibility of birth defects resulting from the Merck medication, as well as worries over whether or not the drug could cause the virus to mutate.
Guess they missed the memo where the vaccine is already causing that problem.
Apparently, the way Pfizer’s drug works is different. It’s in a class of drugs called protease inhibitors, which are currently being used to treat HIV, hepatitis C, and several other viruses.
Pfizer stated that it could have 180,000 treatment courses ready to ship this year and plans to produce a whopping 80 million more in 2022.
“Dolsten said Pfizer is looking to expand that output further as new variants, like the newly-discovered omicron, could push the need for antivirals substantially higher. Current vaccines appear to be less effective at preventing infection with omicron,” Newsmax reported.