Sunday, November 28

Pfizer: the Covid-19 pill that will change the course of the pandemic

The effective result of Pfizer’s Covid-19 pill, which reduces hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients by 89 percent, may change the treatment of coronavirus disease and alter the course of the pandemic.

This Friday, the pharmaceutical company reported in a statement that it was no longer accepting new patients in a clinical trial of the treatment “due to the overwhelming efficacy” and that it planned to present the results to the US regulatory authorities to request an emergency authorization as soon as possible. possible.

The results mean that there are now two promising candidates for treating Covid-19 patients in the early stages of the disease.

Last month, Merck & Co. y su socio Ridgeback Biotherapeutics They presented their experimental pill to regulators after a study showed it cut the risk of becoming seriously ill or dying in half in patients with mild to moderate Covid-19.

Pfizer soars in the stock market

Pfizer earned up to 11 percent from operations in the United States, while Merck fell 9 percent. Some vaccine makers also lost ground, with Moderna Inc. down 17 percent and Pfizer partner Biontech down 17 percent.

A pill that could be taken at home at the first sign of symptoms is a crucial tool in managing the global Covid-19 crisis, as long as it is widely available.

In Pfizer’s trial of 1,219 unvaccinated adults, five days of treatment with their drug dramatically reduced the rate of hospitalization when it started three or five days after symptoms appeared, according to the company.

Current treatment options for Covid are not ideal

Monoclonal antibodies from companies like Regeneron Pharmaceuticals  y Eli Lilly They are difficult to manufacture and must be administered in a doctor’s office, increasing the burden on healthcare systems.

Other medications, such as remdesivir from Gilead Sciences, are used to treat much sicker people who are already in the hospital. The low-cost steroid dexamethasone, although highly effective, is usually administered only to seriously ill patients.

The need for a pill is so dire that Merck has agreed to allow generic drug makers to order generic drugs for more than 100 low- and middle-income countries, even before it is licensed in the US.

Now, the Pfizer pill, which works by a different mechanism, appears to have produced even better results in high-risk patients. risk. The trial was stopped early by independent monitors because the effect was impressive.

“We are really delighted to have seen such high efficacy in this study. It has huge implications for patients around the world,” he said. Annaliesa Anderson, chief scientist for Pfizer’s Hospitals Business Unit.

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