Pfizer tests COVID pill as preventive medicine

Manama, Sept. 27 (BNA): Pfizer has begun testing its potential treatment for the COVID-19 virus as a preventative drug designed to ward off the virus if someone gets close to it.

The drug company said Monday that it will study a pill it is developing in combination with the low-dose HIV drug ritonavir in people who are at least 18 years old and live in the same household with an infected person.

Pfizer plans to enroll 2,660 people in the final phase of the study. Participants would receive either the treatment group or a fake drug orally twice a day for five to 10 days.

Researchers expect that using ritonavir will help slow the breakdown of a potential treatment so it can remain active for longer to help fight the virus.

“If successful, we believe this treatment could help stop the virus early — before it has a chance to reproduce on a large scale,” Dr. Michael Dolstein, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement from the drug company.

Pfizer Inc. is studying. It is also a possible treatment for people who already have the virus. It is designed to be prescribed at the first sign of infection without requiring patients to be hospitalized.

The drug company expects to see the results of these studies by the end of the year.


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