Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxlovid has finished the next stage of clinical trials, with promising results for the future of “COVID-19 pills.”
Tuesday’s press release, courtesy of Pfizer, details the drug’s effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalizations and severe illness. The company has finished reviewing its phase 2/3 clinical trial, which reportedly matched good results found earlier according to Pfizer.
Pfizer stated that Paxlovid “was found to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% compared to placebo in non-hospitalized high-risk adults with COVID-19.”
The report also claimed those who received a placebo pill instead showed higher hospitalization rates. The clinical trials were conducted with 2,246 people, all of them being unvaccinated and at “high risk.” Only 0.7% of people who received the drug were hospitalized after 28 days, said Pfizer, and no participants died.
Trials held last month by Pfizer showed similar positive results. In the early stages of the drug’s development, researchers hoped for an effective rate of around 60%. The claimed efficacy, almost 90%, was unexpected but welcomed by the medical community.
Ronald Swanstrom, a professor from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, stated, “For many, many people this will be a really important drug.”
The CEO and Chairman of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, added to the statement given by Pfizer. He said, “Today’s news is a real game-changer in the global efforts to halt the devastation of this pandemic.
These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate if approved or authorized by regulatory authorities has the potential to save patients’ lives, reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations.”
Paxlovid is yet to be approved by the FDA, despite Pfizer submitting the pill for emergency authorization. Side or adverse effects are not yet public, with Pfizer withholding some of its clinical results.
If approved, the antiviral drug would be the first of its kind allegedly with the ability to “block the reproduction of COVID-19” in the body, according to NBC News.
President Biden has already stated that the administration plans on buying 10 million courses of Paxlovid from Pfizer, with one course being six pills daily for five days. That would bring the total pill production up to 300 million for just the federal government’s order alone.