(RxWiki News) As the coronavirus pandemic continues, an investigational antiviral COVID-19 treatment from Pfizer is entering clinical trials.
This drug would be the first orally administered compound that targets the main protease (enzyme) of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19.
This compound is considered a protease inhibitor. It works by preventing the virus from replicating inside the cell.
Dubbed PF-07321332, this new compound is currently in a Phase 1 trial in the United States. This early trial will assess the safety and tolerability of PF-07321332 in healthy participants.
Although Phase 1 clinical trials are still early, if the trial shows that this compound is safe and effective, it could offer the world an effective treatment for COVID-19.
The fact that this medication is oral, meaning you take it by mouth, means it can be given in an outpatient setting. In other words, it may not have to be administered in a hospital.
The compound is still under study, but researchers haven't ruled out the possibility of even using it as a preventive treatment for COVID-19. And in combination with an IV-only compound to be used in hospitals — called PF-07304814 — it could provide a comprehensive treatment plan to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have designed PF-07321332 as a potential oral therapy that could be prescribed at the first sign of infection, without requiring that patients are hospitalized or in critical care," said Dr. Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer's chief scientific officer, in a Pfizer press release. "At the same time, Pfizer’s intravenous antiviral candidate is a potential novel treatment option for hospitalized patients. Together, the two have the potential to create an end to end treatment paradigm that complements vaccination in cases where disease still occurs."
These drugs are still in early testing. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them. Never take any medication or substance meant to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19 without first speaking with your health care provider.