Covid: Pfizer believes its oral treatment is effective against Omicron

Posted on Dec. 2021 at 15:13Updated Dec 14, 2019 2021 at 17:57

It is a long-awaited new tool in the fight against the pandemic. Pfizer confirmed on Tuesday the effectiveness of its anti-Covid pill. The laboratory’s clinical trials show that its antiviral treatment, which will be marketed under the name Paxlovid, reduces hospitalizations and deaths in people at risk by almost 90%, when taken in the first days after the onset of symptoms. Efficacy that should work just as well against the Omicron variant, says Pfizer in a press release.

These results are based on all the participants in the trials, i.e. more than 2,200 people, and confirm what was announced in early November from preliminary results. No deaths were recorded among those who received the treatment. Participants were unvaccinated and at high risk of developing a severe case of Covid-19.

Key complement to vaccines

“This highlights the potential of this (drug) candidate to save the lives of patients around the world,” said Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, quoted in the statement. “Variants of concern like Omicron have exacerbated the need for accessible treatment options for those who contract the virus,” he added.

Antivirals work by decreasing the ability of a virus to replicate, thereby slowing down the disease. These treatments represent a key complement to vaccines to protect against Covid-19, in particular because they are very easy to administer, being able to be taken simply at home with a large glass of water. Pfizer’s competitor, Merck, is the first to launch the drug, which has been licensed in the UK.

The results come as the US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is examining whether to allow the use of Paxlovid in high-risk adults, a decision expected before the end of the year.

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AFP source

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