Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical firm, which developed the mRNA vaccine against COVID-19, has begun to give people the disease of a pill against the virus, as part of its clinical trial.
A Swarajya report via Yahoo! News said, initial findings of the said trial are expected to be available before the end of 2021.
Pfizer, which developed the COVID-19 vaccine along with BioNTech, a German pharmaceutical firm, has started its Phase 2 of three trials, discovering the novel oral treatment to relieve symptoms of COVID-19. The participants have been provided with doses of the pill.
Probably, the most essential missing link in the combat against COVID-19 is a simple, pill-based treatment that can be given at home during the initial stages of the infection.
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A Potential Oral Drug
During the past 18 months, an astounding number of medicines have been developed, which include prophylactic vaccines and monoclonal antibodies to stop the severity of the illness.
While COVID-19 vaccines can help in the reduced risk of hospitalization of an individual, or even death and various drugs can be administered while the patient is in the hospital to avoid deterioration of the health, an effective oral drug that can be taken at home during the infection's early stages is also essential.
As several anti-COVID-19 oral medications are presently under development, this product of Pfizer, called PF-07321332, is one of the initial oral antivirals developed specifically to target COVID-19, to reach advanced human trial phases in humans.
The treatment belongs to the protease inhibitor antiviral drug class. Proteases, which are enzymes that are vital for viral replication mechanisms, have been formulated for HIV/AIDS treatment, and hepatitis, as well.
Pfizer started with its first trial in July to determine if a course of the drug provided to people at high risk of severe COVID-19 would lower hospital admissions and mortality rates.
The second was carried out last month, during which scientists examined the effects of the drug on people at low risk of severe COVID-19 cases.
The aim behind the studies is to determine if the drug can shorten the duration, and the severity of COVID-19 infection symptoms in healthy individuals, a similar Times of India report specified.
As Pfizer claimed, the phase 2/3 trial is part of a worldwide clinical development program, which consists of multiple ongoing and planned clinical trials for the evaluation of this early-intervention, outpatient treatment candidate for possible use in an extensive population of patients.
The company noted that if the clinical trials succeed, this oral medication has the potential to meet a substantial unmet need, while providing people with an oral treatment that could be prescribed at the infection's first sign, lessening the need for hospital admission after getting infected with COVID-19.
Oral COVID-19 Treatment
Reuters reported, other companies like the German firm, Merck, and the American Biotechnology company, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, have begun Phase 3 clinical trial for its oral medication that also prevents COVID-19.
It was said that almost 1,332 adult volunteers would be signed up for the study provided they live in the same house as symptomatic patients.
In the case of anti-COVID-19 drugs, the Drug Controller General of India or DCGI, has approved an Emergency Use Authorization or EUA for Tocilizumab's generic version in the country, for COVID-19 treatment of patients admitted at the hospital.
This medication is developed to help people on systemic corticosteroids and require supplemental oxygen, mechanical ventilation, or ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
Related information about Pfizer's anti-COVID-19 pill is shown on NBC Bay Area's YouTube video below:
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