Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) has released additional data from the clinical trial of its oral COVID-19 drug. The company found that Paxlovid, the antiviral, was 89% efficient in protecting high-risk populations from dying or hospitalization due to COVID-19.
The total dose consists of three pills taken two times a day for five days. It prevents the virus from copying itself in the body. The company could tell that it was most efficient when taken three days after the first symptom appeared. Moreover, the side effects were mild.
The 2/3 Phase EPIC-HR trial gathered 2,246 adults. The results were synonymous with the interim study the company had released in November. The company has now shared this data with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to get Emergency Use Authorization.
Oral COVID-19 pills give more treatment options
According to the CEO and Chairman of Pfizer, Alberta Bourla, the drug could significantly impact the lives of many patients as it can reduce viral load and lower the risk of hospitalization and death.
Bourla adds that the omicron variant has increased the need for more treatment options for people with COVID-19. He believes that Paxlovid could help curb the spread of infection. The company developed it as an oral drug to make it the first choice when patients exhibit infection signs or contact infected people to prevent the disease from developing and hospitalization.
Pfizer vaccine provides some protection from omicron
Meanwhile, lab experiments by the Africa Health Research Institute at Durban, South Africa, have shown that a two-shot course of the Pfizer vaccine is 22.5% efficient when treating symptomatic infections with Omicron. However, it can still prevent severe disease.
The researchers collected blood plasma from 12 volunteers. They found that omicron reduced neutralizing antibodies people who had gotten two doses of the Pfizer vaccine received 41 times.
Alex Sigal, the lead researcher, stated that this reduced the vaccine’s efficacy in protecting people from infection. Despite this, the vaccine still provided enough protection from severe infection. Signal added that a coaster shot was necessary to increase immunity.
Trials carried out by Pfizer have supported this finding. Moreover, the U.K released information that suggested that getting a Pfizer/BioNTech or an AstraZeneca Plc booster increased protection from omicron by 75% for a short time after getting them.
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