Pfizer starts dosing patients in oral Covid-19 drug trial
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New Delhi :Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday it had started dosing in a mid-to-late-stage trial of its oral antiviral therapy for Covid-19 in non-hospitalized, symptomatic adult patients.The company and its rivals, including US-based Merck & Co Inc and Swiss pharmaceutical Roche Holding AG, have been racing to develop the first antiviral pill to be taken on early signs of the illness. Pfizer's mid-to-late-stage trial in 1,140 participants would study the therapy, PF-07321332, in combination with a low dose of ritonavir, which has been used with other antivirals too, the company said. (https://bit.ly/3kJWzg9)PF-07321332 is designed to block the activity of a key enzyme that is needed for the coronavirus to replicate.To date, Gilead Sciences Inc'sremdesivir, administered intravenously, is the only approved antiviral treatment for covid-19 in the United States.Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics' molnupiravir is already being studied in a late-stage trial in non-hospitalized patients to see if it reduces the risk of hospitalization or death.The companies said on Wednesday they had started a late-stage trial of molnupiravir for the prevention of covid-19 infection.