Pfizer Will Test a Pill to Kill the Covid-19 Virus

Pfizer has started a Phase 1 trial of a pill that could foil the Covid-19 virus, the company said Tuesday.

The experimental drug inhibits enzymes essential to the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus; many successful antiviral drugs against HIV and hepatitis C work the same way.

If clinical trials prove the Pfizer antiviral safe and effective, the pill could be given at the first sign of infection, said the company’s chief scientific officer, Mikael Dolsten, in the announcement.

In morning trading, Pfizer stock (ticker: PFE) was down 1.4%, to $35.50, in a flat stock market.

Pfizer said the drug, dubbed PF-07321332, had shown potent ability to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other coronaviruses in laboratory studies. Pfizer is already testing another intravenous antiviral in hospitalized Covid patients.

To that end, Walensky and Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor on pandemic response, urged Americans and businesses to adhere to mask wearing and physical distancing, even if and when individual states choose to remove mandates. And they urged all American adults to get the vaccine as soon as they are able.

 

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