Pfizer launched a large-scale clinical trial to ascertain the efficacy of its oral antiviral drug for the prevention of Coronavirus among those who have been exposed to the viral infection. This trial was launched earlier this month, and now its scope is being increased further.
The development comes as pharmaceutical firms across the world, including the US-based Merck and Switzerland-based Roche, race to roll out an easy-to-administer drug for the Coronavirus infection.
Earlier this month, Pfizer had started the clinical trial of PF-07321332 to test its safety and effectiveness in non-hospitalized adults who were infected with Coronavirus and were not at risk of severe infection.
Now, Pfizer has enrolled over 2,660 adults aged 18 years or above with no underlying health conditions in the mid-to-late stage clinical trial of its drug named PF-07321332. All participants of the trial had at least one confirmed patient of Coronavirus.
PF-07321332 is basically a low dose of ritonavir, an older drug widely used with other medications used to treat HIV infection. Pfizer’s pill is designed to disable the activity of a key enzyme that allows Coronavirus to replicate in a cell.
In July this year, Pfizer also initiated the clinical trial of PF-07321332 in hospitalized adults who were infected with Coronavirus and were at high risk of developing a serious infection due to their preexisting medical conditions.
Preliminary results of both July and September studies will be released before the end of 2021. In case of encouraging results, Pfizer would apply for the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of PF-07321332 from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
So far, Remdesivir, an oral antiviral drug developed by the US-based Gilead Sciences, remains the only oral antiviral drug approved in the US for the prevention of Coronavirus infection.