According to the British newspaper The Telegraph, this is a “remarkable experiment” that would be conducted by Pfizer and would involve about sixty volunteers in good health and between the ages of 18 and 60. The clinical trials of a single-pill anti-Covid 19 treatment could be completed by the end of the year.
“The molecule tested is a custom-made antivirus code-named PF 07321332,” the British newspaper said, adding that it was “classified as a protease inhibitor” and “formulated to attack the ‘backbone’ of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and prevent it from replicating in our noses, throats, and lungs. These are the same protease inhibitors that have pushed back the spread of HIV in the UK and around the world, it is further explained, which is why the researchers are hoping for a similar breakthrough to break the pandemic.
“We designed PF-07321332 as a potential oral therapy that could be prescribed at the first sign of infection without requiring patients to go to the hospital or intensive care unit,” Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer and president of global research, development, and medicine, said in an official statement released last month.
Pfizer’s pill has demonstrated “potent in vitro antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2” as well as activity against other coronaviruses, raising the prospects for pandemic control. PF-07321332 is administered in combination with low doses of ritonavir, an antiviral used to treat HIV. In this way, it acts as a “booster” to increase the amount of PF-07321332 in participants’ blood.
The study drug was previously tested for safety in animals, and no side effects were noted. The initial human trials, which have now begun, are divided into three phases lasting a total of 145 days, with an additional 28 days for screening and dosing, reveals The Telegraph, which has access to documents handed out to trial participants.