Pfizer says that its COVID-19 pill reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%, in a clinical trial that tested the drug in adults with the disease who were also in high-risk health groups.
The oral medicine is called Paxlovid. Similar toMerck’s new pillthat was approved in the U.K. on Thursday, Pfizer said its drug showed good results when administered within five days of the first COVID-19 symptoms.
Based on the strength of the trial’s results, Pfizer says it will stop enrolling people into more clinical trials for the pill and will instead send the results it has so far to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to seek emergency use authorization.
“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,” Pfizer CEO and chairman Albert Bourla said.
Both of the antiviral medicines from Pfizer and Merck attack the coronavirus by interfering with its ability to replicate itself.