The mechanism of action of the test medicine is similar to that of antivirals used to fight HIV or hepatitis C. It is a so-called protease inhibitor, which binds to viral enzymes and prevents them from replicating.
In simple terms, therefore, the coronavirus drug is intended to prevent the proliferation of infected cells. So if it works. However, according to Pfizer, the results so far are very promising.
“Preclinical studies have shown the potential for antiviral activity against SARS-COV-2 and other coronaviruses,” said Michael Dolsten, chief scientist at Pfizer. This means that PF-07321332 could also work against other coronaviruses that may cause epidemics in the future.
The test tablets are intended for administration at an early stage of the disease. They are to prevent the development of a severe form of covid and the necessary hospitalization. Patients in an already severe condition could benefit from an intravenous form of the drug in the future. Pfizer is also working on it.
Pfizer, in cooperation with the German company BioNTech, has already developed a vaccine that is successfully used in many countries around the world, including the Czech Republic. However, expanding the arsenal with an effective drug could significantly combat the fight against the pandemic.
“Combating the covid-19 pandemic requires both vaccine prevention and targeted treatment for those infected. Given the way in which SARS-CoV-2 mutates and the continuing global impact of covid, it appears likely that it will have a major impact on whether we have access to vaccination and treatment options. Even after the end of the pandemic, “Dolsten added.
The first phase of human testing of Pfizer is randomized. This means that adult volunteers are selected at random. Parts of the sample are given placebo, and even doctors do not know which of the patients received the active substance.
If the effectiveness is confirmed, testing will move to the second phase, on more people, Pfizer states in a press release, without specifying how many people the first phase is being performed on.
Only remdesivir is currently approved for the treatment of covid in the United States, where a new drug is being tested, and in the European Union.