- Paxlovid is a combination of two medications – Nirmatrelvir, a novel investigational antiviral agent, and Ritonavir, an established antiviral agent used to treat HIV – administered during a five-day period.
- Due to the fact that it does not target the rapidly evolving spike proteins on the coronavirus’s surface, it should be more variant-proof than synthetic antibody treatments or antibodies induced by the majority of Covid vaccines.
Pfizer said Tuesday (Dec 14) that clinical studies revealed that its Covid-19 pill — a new form of medication that should be resistant to the mutations associated with the Omicron variant – significantly decreased hospitalisations and deaths among at-risk individuals by almost 90%.
The statement, which was lauded by US Vice President Joe Biden, came after a real-world research conducted in South Africa revealed that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were 70% effective in preventing serious disease caused by the new strain.
The authors of the study described the prolonged vaccination protection as “encouraging," despite the fact that it reflects a decline in comparison to prior variants.
The new pill’s data came from over 2,200 people and confirmed preliminary results revealed last month.
The American pharmaceutical company claimed their medication, named Paxlovid, has also performed well in lab trials against the Omicron variant.
“I am encouraged by the promising data released by Pfizer today, showing that its antiviral pill is effective at reducing the risk of severe illness in people infected with Covid-19,” said Biden.
“This news provides another potentially powerful tool in our fight against the virus, including the Omicron variant.”
The US has purchased ten million courses of the medication ahead of a possible approval by the Food and Drug Administration this month, according to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.
The experiment found that when administered after three days of symptom start, the tablet decreased the requirement for hospitalisation in high-risk people with Covid-19 by 89 percent, and by 88 percent when given within five days.
In all, 12 people died in the placebo group and none in the drug group.
Around a quarter of individuals in both groups had side effects, which were mostly moderate.
Source - Reuters
New Drug Type
Paxlovid is a combination of two medications – Nirmatrelvir, a novel investigational antiviral agent, and Ritonavir, an established antiviral agent used to treat HIV – administered during a five-day period.
Due to the fact that it does not target the rapidly evolving spike proteins on the coronavirus’s surface, it should be more variant-proof than synthetic antibody treatments or antibodies induced by the majority of Covid vaccines.
Another Covid drug, Merck’s Molnupiravir, has previously been approved in the United Kingdom. Two weeks ago, a US team of experts marginally voted in support of the Merck tablet, but FDA approval is still pending.
The final research findings indicated that Molnupiravir decreased hospitalisations and fatalities by a modest 30%, but there were also worries about the drug’s mechanism of action, which differs from the Pfizer tablet.
Merck itself advised against the use of Molnupiravir for pregnant women after evidence of damage to foetuses in animal tests.
Real-World Vaccine Data
The statement came as the highly mutated Omicron strain spreads swiftly over the globe, with the World Health Organisation reporting that it is “probably" prevalent in the majority of countries.
Even if early evidence suggests that the variant produces milder symptoms in the majority of individuals is verified, the variant’s improved transmissibility and capacity to overcome preexisting immunity may counteract this benefit by infecting a larger number of people.
Numerous governments have increased their booster dose programmes in an attempt to rebuild vaccine efficacy.
South African researchers recently concluded that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine still provided 70 percent protection against severe disease, down from 93 percent during the country’s Delta outbreak.
The research examined the findings of 78,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted in South Africa between November 15 and December 7.
Additionally, it discovered that two doses were only 33% effective against infection — a finding similar to early British studies that experts said strengthened the argument for a third dose.
British research reveals that a third dose of Pfizer – either after two previous doses of Pfizer or two doses of AstraZeneca – restored efficacy against infection to 70-75 percent.
South African study also indicated that the risk of reinfection is increased with Omicron, and that a smaller proportion of patients infected with the new variant were hospitalised than in the country’s initial wave, after accounting for vaccination status.
Source – The Star