CEO Albert Bourla of Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced that the company expects to have a pill people can take in the comfortable of their home to treat Covid-19, thereby reducing the need for hospital care and reducing deaths. According to Pfizer, a person will take the pill when they first start having symptoms and is called a protease inhibitor and works to bind itself to the viral enzymes stopping the virus from replicating itself in human cells by attacked the “spine” of the Covid virus. This works much the same way anti-viral drugs work to treat hepatitis C and HIV, both of which has proven to be highly successful and safe for humans.
"That allows us to believe that will be way more effective against the multiple variants. That's good news, and we are now progressing the studies, and we will have more news around summer," said Bourla.
Pfizer’s new drug, currently called PF-07321332, will be administered to people who recently become sick with Covid and will be given alongside a small dose of Ritonavir, an anti-viral drug used to treat HIV that has proven to be effective and safe. The Ritonavir will act as a booster to the PF-07321332.
Human trials started in March with a 145 day trial period plus an additional 28 days for “screening and dosing.” Initial results show the company’s drug is also effective at all known variants of Covid-19.
“If Pfizer’s drug to treat those infected with Covid works, it will be game changer, while vaccines are important to take, having a pill that can be easily stored, transported and administered makes reaching hard hit places such as India and Africa easier can can hopefully stop the spread.” Says Jules Medina, a public health consultant for the government of India.