Covid PILL may be ready this year: Pfizer says first safety trials will end in May and ‘treatment’ could be shipped at home by fall
- Pfizer Inc is currently running a clinical trial on an experimental pill that would be the first to treat COVID-19 called PF-07321332.
- It belongs to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors, which would inhibit the enzyme the coronavirus uses to make copies of it inside human cells.
- Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed on May 25, and if the larger stages prove successful, the drug may be available by the end of the year
- It remains unclear whether any US government agencies are funding clinical trials or whether any applications for the birth control pill have been filed.
An experimental oral drug produced by Pfizer that will be the first specifically designed to stop the novel coronavirus may be available by the end of this year.
Antiviral tablets prevent the virus from spreading inside the body by blocking the enzyme that the Corona virus needs to replicate itself. The treatment belongs to a class of drugs known as protease inhibitors.
Known as PF-07321332, the drug will be prescribed to patients at the first sign of infection with the COVID-19 virus.
According to The Telegraph, the ongoing trial is divided into three phases and will run for 145 days, which means it is set to end in mid-July.
The first phase ends in May, and if larger trials go well, the drug could be distributed to hospitals and doctors’ offices by fall 2021.
The experimental Pfizer drug, called PF-07321332, belongs to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors, which would inhibit the enzyme the coronavirus uses to make copies of it into human cells (file photo)
Developing drugs for respiratory disease is challenging, in part because doses must be high enough for the drug to reach deep into the lungs but not so high that it is toxic.
Research on Covid treatments has also been stifled because the US government initially prioritized vaccines.
It wasn’t until the end of April 2020 that the first treatment for COVID-19 showed benefit in a large government-sponsored study.
This drug – remdesivir, sold as Veklury by Gilead Sciences Inc – is still the only approved drug for COVID-19 in the United States, although others are approved for emergency use (a form of initial approval with a lower strip. For safety and efficacy).
According to Clintrials.gov, Covid pills are being tried at two Pfizer sites, one in New Haven, Connecticut, and the other in Brussels, Belgium.
A total of 60 participants between the ages of 18 and 60 were enrolled, and some would be given one of the four doses of the drug and some would be given a placebo, but even the researchers would not know which pill the volunteers were using.
The site, run by the US National Library of Medicine, states that the study is expected to be completed by May 25.
If results show that the drug is safe and effective, the company will move to phase 2 and employ a larger group of participants, and it will be available later this year.
“If they move to this stage, they will be quietly optimistic,” Dr. Benny Ward, a visiting professor of pharmaceutical medicine at Kings College London, told The Telegraph.
“The question will be how to tolerate the medicine … They will act like clappers.”
In the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the Accelerated Curative Interventions and Vaccine for COVID-19 (ACTIV) on April 17.
The program focuses on developing treatments against the Corona virus and its variants and other viruses that can cause epidemics.
Although Pfizer is listed as one of the ACTIV member firms, it is unclear whether PF-07321332 is one of the drugs being studied or whether the NIH is helping fund the trial.
Neither the National Institutes of Health nor the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services immediately responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment in time for publication.
A Pfizer spokeswoman declined to answer questions about whether any government agencies were funding the clinical trials and whether the United States had submitted any requests for the drug.