Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced Friday the results from a clinical trial of a new coronavirus drug, aimed at preventing serious cases of the virus among high-risk groups – particularly those unable to receive the COVID vaccine.
According to a press release by Pfizer Friday afternoon, the experimental pill demonstrated up to 89% effectiveness in curbing hospitalizations or death among high-risk patients.
The new antiviral pill was combined with low doses of an HIV drug called Ritonavir [Lopinavir/Norvir], producing an effect that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called a “game-changer”.
“These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved 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.”
The pill, a protease inhibitor, prevents the COVID virus from multiplying in the human body by blocking an enzyme used by COVID to multiply.
During the experimental trials, subjects took three pills twice a day for five days, with Ritonavir [Lopinavir/Norvir] taken in addition to prolong the pill’s effects.
Pfizer did not release the full results of the trial Friday.
The interim data comes from trials on 1,219 high-risk patients who were infected with COVID, comparing rates of hospitalization between those given a placebo versus the protease inhibitor.
Seven percent of those in the placebo group were hospitalized during the trials, compared to 0.8% of those given the protease inhibitor.
Seven patients in the placebo group died during the trials, while none died in the group which received the new pill.
Source: Arutz Sheva