Health

Reuters reports that Pfizer has begun testing an oral medication for COVID-19 prevention

Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) announced on Monday that it has begun a major study to see if its experimental oral antiviral medication may prevent COVID-19 infection in people who have been exposed to the virus.

The drugmaker has been competing with rivals like as Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) of the United States and Roche Holding AG (ROG.S) of Switzerland to produce an easy-to-administer antiviral tablet for COVID-19. 

Pfizer’s medication, PF-07321332, will be tested in up to 2,660 healthy adult participants aged 18 and older who reside in the same home as someone with a proven symptomatic COVID-19 infection in this mid-to-late-stage research.

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In the experiment, PF-07321332, which inhibits the activity of a critical enzyme required for coronavirus replication, will be given in conjunction with a low dosage of ritonavir, an older HIV drug commonly used in combination therapies.

In the United States, Gilead Sciences Inc’s (GILD.O) injectable medication remdesivir is the sole antiviral therapy for COVID-19.

Pfizer has also begun a new trial of PF-07321332 in symptomatic adult patients who are not hospitalized.

Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics have just started a late-stage study of their investigational medication molnupiravir for COVID-19 infection prevention. 

Molnupiravir is also being tested in non-hospitalized individuals in a late-stage experiment to evaluate if it decreases the likelihood of hospitalization or mortality.

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