Pfizer testing oral antiviral COVID-19 drug

Pfizer began a trial of an oral antiviral drug designed to treat COVID-19 on March 23, The Hill reported. 

The drug is a protease inhibitor, a type of drug that has been used to treat HIV and hepatitis C, according to The Hill. It works by blocking an enzyme the virus needs to replicate. 

"Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic requires both prevention via vaccine and targeted treatment for those who contract the virus. Given the way that SARS-CoV-2 is mutating and the continued global impact of COVID-19, it appears likely that it will be critical to have access to therapeutic options both now and beyond the pandemic," Mikael Dolsten, MD, PhD, Pfizer's chief scientific officer, said in a statement to The Hill. 

Dr. Dolsten told The Hill that the drug, if successful in clinical trials, could be given to patients at the first stage of infection, before hospitalization. 

Pfizer is also testing an intravenous protease inhibitor for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, The Hill reported. 

Read the full article here.

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