Breaking Health News:
Pfizer begins early-stage study of oral Covid-19 drug aiming at another 'first'
Pfizer Inc has started an early-stage U.S. trial of an oral COVID-19 antiviral therapy that could be prescribed to patients at the first sign of infection, the company said on Tuesday.
Pfizer believes this class of molecules may provide well-tolerated treatments against COVID-19, as currently marketed therapeutics that work on the same lines have not reported safety concerns.
The company is also studying an intravenously administered antiviral candidate in an early-stage trial in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
"Together, the two (oral and intravenous candidates) have the potential to create an end-to-end treatment paradigm that complements vaccination in cases where disease still occurs," Pfizer's Chief Medical Officer Mikael Dolsten said in a statement.
Pfizer's candidate is behind two other oral antiviral therapies, which are in mid-stage trials - the first being developed by rival Merck & Co with Ridgeback Bio, and a second from Roche Holding and Atea Pharmaceuticals.
Gilead Sciences' remdesivir is currently the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for the treatment of COVID-19.
The FDA has granted an emergency authorization to intravenous therapies from Eli Lilly - bamlanivimab alone and in combination with etesevimab, and a combination therapy from Regeneron.
(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber); appearing in The Emergency Email & Wireless Network 3/27/21.