Pfizer identifies lead COVID-19 drug candidate

Alia Paavola - Print  | 

Pharma giant Pfizer has identified a lead COVID-19 drug candidate that it hopes to start testing on humans in the summer, according to The Wall Street Journal.  

Preliminary research suggests the potential treatment blocks the novel coronavirus from replicating, which indicates the drug could slow the spread of the virus in patients, the New York-based drugmaker said.

Pfizer hopes to start clinical trials on the drug in August or September, according to the report. 

The new drug candidate is one of several developments in the works for Pfizer to find a COVID-19 treatment. 

Pfizer also is testing an approved rheumatoid-arthritis drug Xeljanz in Italy this week, researching if azithromycin works against the novel coronavirus, and working to develop a vaccine in partnership with German drugmaker BioNTech SE. 

“I feel confident that we will win, battle by battle, to turn around this viral war against our society," Mikael Dolsten, MD, PhD, Pfizer's research and development chief, told The Wall Street Journal. 

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