Pfizer begins testing of Covid pill as preventive medicine to ward off virus from an infected person

  • Pfizer said that it will study the pill it is developing in combination with a low dose of the HIV drug ritonavir in people who are at least 18 years old and live in the same household with someone who is infected.
Pfizer plans to enroll 2,660 people in the late-stage study.
Pfizer plans to enroll 2,660 people in the late-stage study.
Published on Sep 28, 2021 12:04 AM IST
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AP | | Posted by Sharangee Dutta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Pfizer has started testing its potential Covid-19 treatment as a preventive medicine aimed at warding off the virus if a close contact gets it.

The drug maker said Monday that it will study the pill it is developing in combination with a low dose of the HIV drug ritonavir in people who are at least 18 years old and live in the same household with someone who is infected.

Pfizer plans to enroll 2,660 people in the late-stage study. Those participating will get either the treatment combination or a fake drug orally twice a day for five to 10 days.

Researchers expect that the use of ritonavir will help slow the breakdown of the potential treatment so it remains active longer to help fight the virus.

“If successful, we believe this therapy could help stop the virus early – before it has had a chance to replicate extensively,” Pfizer chief scientific officer Mikael Dolsten said in a statement from the drug maker.

Pfizer Inc. also is studying its potential treatment in people who are already infected with the virus. It’s designed to be prescribed at the first sign of infection without requiring patients to be hospitalized. The drug maker expects to see results from those studies by the end of the year.

The pill aims to block a key enzyme that the virus needs to replicate.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021