Pfizer working on 'two more' antiviral drugs to fight Covid-19

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American pharmaceutical company Pfizer is developing two candidate antiviral drugs to fight Covid-19, in addition to its vaccine that has already been rolled out around the world, the director of the company’s French arm has said.

Pfizer's French branch director David Lepoittevin told French daily Le Parisien the first drug was a pill to be taken orally, while the the other was to be administered intravenously.

“Both are still at a very early stage of development," he said, adding that encouraging results for the pill candidate had promoted Pfizer to launch a clinical study on healthy adults to evaluate dose and tolerance.

Named PF-07321332, the oral antiviral is a protease inhibitor, a type of drug that prevents the virus from replicating in cells. Such drugs have been effective at treating viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C.

“Our intravenous antiviral candidate is also being tested in hospitalised patients with Covid,” Lepoittevin added.

Along with Germany’s company BioNTech, Pfizer developed the first Covid-19 vaccine authorised for use in the United States. The vaccine now plays a leading role in vaccination campaigns in both the US and Europe.

On Friday, Pfizer-BioNTech asked for authorisation to use their Covid-19 vaccine on 12-15 year olds in the United States.

Lepoittevin did not offer any information as to when Pfizer’s new anti-Covid candidate drugs might arrive in pharmacies.