While the vaccination programs against SARS-CoV-2 are doing differently in different countries, there is still no effective drug against the Covid-19 disease caused by the virus. According to the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which together with the German company Biontech also produces its vaccine, there should be a pill against Covid-19 this year. This should be taken by infected people at the first signs of illness.
Pill and intravenous agent against Covid-19
The statement by Pfizer's CEO Albert Bourla initially only refers to the USA. It is not yet known what the possible approval procedures in Germany or the EU will look like. The drug is a so-called protease inhibitor, which inhibits an enzyme that the corona virus needs to multiply in human cells. Protease inhibitors are already used in other viruses such as HIV or the hepatitis C virus.
In Lavor tests, the drug has already shown a strong effect on the course of Covid-19 diseases. Clinical testing of the drug in phase 1 studies has been running since March - Pfizer expects to publish the data on the tolerability and safety of the active ingredient in May. The effectiveness is then tested on people infected with Covid-19. Provided that the studies go well, Pfizer looks forward to the approval process before the US FDA (Food and Drugs Administration). According to Bourla, a market launch can be expected this year.
By taking it early, the drug is said to help prevent severe courses of Covid-19 and minimize hospital stays. This would make a significant contribution to protecting the intensive care units from being overloaded. " We developed PF-07321332 as a potential oral therapy that can be prescribed in the early stages of an infection without the need for patients to be hospitalized or in an intensive care unit, " said Pfizer. At the same time, the company is developing the active ingredient PF-07304814. This should be able to be administered intravenously in hospitals and is intended for severe Covid-19 courses. However, when this drug will be available is still unknown.
Corona vaccination soon from 12?
Pfizer has also asked the FDA to approve the corona vaccine, which was jointly developed with Biontech, for approval for adolescents between 12 and 15. In a study, the company was able to determine that the vaccine was 100 percent effective in this age group. Bourla was quite optimistic about the chances of success of this application. After expanding the approval in the USA, Pfizer would probably also aim to do so in the EU and Germany in the near future.