Pfizer has started a Phase 1 trial of a pill that could kill the COVID-19 virus, said a spokesman for Pfizer. The Pfizer pill could be given at the first sign of infection if clinical trials prove it safe and effective, said the company’s chief scientific officer Mikael Dolsten. “The experimental drug inhibits enzymes essential to the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus; many successful antiviral drugs against HIV and hepatitis C work the same way” (“Pfizer Will Test a Pill to Kill the Covid-19 Virus” by Bill Alpert, March 3, 2021). Named PF-07321332, the drug shows “potent ability to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other coronaviruses in laboratory studies.” Merck (MRk) is also testing an antiviral against COVID as is Eli Lilly (LLY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN).
In a news release, Pfizer said “the oral drug would work by blocking protease, a critical enzyme that the virus needs to replicate. Protease inhibitors are used in medicines to treat HIV and Hepatitis C.” They are also investigating a vaccine that could be taken as a pill and this medication may enter clinical trials in the second quarter of 2021.
Again, stay well, mask when mandated, and stay tuned!