Pfizer pill significantly cuts risk of COVID-19 death, company says

Antiviral drugs are coming.

A day after the UK approved MSD / Ridgeback’s molnupiravir for the treatment of at-risk people infected with COVID-19, Pfizer on Friday reported an 89 percent reduced risk of hospitalization or death with its antiviral candidate.

An interim analysis showed that the antiviral therapy called paxlovid significantly improved the chances of survival in non-hospitalized high-risk adults with COVID-19 compared to a placebo.

Overall, there were no deaths by day 28 in patients randomized to receive oral antibody therapy, compared with 10 deaths in patients given placebo.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla described the results as “a real game changer” in the pandemic. He said that paxlovid – which combines an investigational SARS-CoV-2 protease inhibitor with existing HIV antiviral therapy – “has the potential to save the lives of patients suffering from the severity of COVID-19 infections reduce and eliminate up to nine out of 10 hospital stays. “

Pfizer compared treatment for patients within three days of symptoms and five days of symptoms and found that earlier treatment produced better results.

Among the patients treated within three days, there were three hospital admissions with no deaths of 389 patients; versus 27 hospitalizations with seven subsequent deaths in 385 patients who received placebo.

Among the patients treated within five days, there were six hospitalizations with no deaths from 607 patients treated with the antiviral therapy; compared to 41 hospitalizations with 10 subsequent deaths in 612 patients who received placebo.

Early analysis suggests that the drug had a favorable safety profile, with more people reporting side effects with the placebo than with the antiviral.

The study results will first be submitted to the US Food and Drug Authority for emergency approval.

The UK is under contract for 250,000 cycles of Pfizer’s antiviral therapy, formerly known as PF-07321332 / ritonavir, and 480,000 cycles of MSD / Ridgebacks molnupiravr.

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