What is Paxlovid? Pfizer's oral drug to treat COVID-19
- Pfizer asked US authorities to approve Paxlovid
- The drug is expected to boost at home treatment for COVID patients
- The dosage of Paxlovid reportedly lasts for five days
Paxlovid is an antiviral drug that is being treated as a potential treatment for extreme cases of COVID-19, setting the stage for an oral medication for mitigating the deadly disease. The drug originated in the labs of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
Paxlovid has been designed to restrict the replication of COVID-19 in the host by using a novel antiviral called PF-07321332, which will block the activity of the SARS-CoV-2-3CL protease, according to Drugs.com, an online pharmaceutical encyclopedia.
The drug is administered orally once every 12 hours with the usual dosage lasting for nearly five days. According to the pharmaceutical encyclopedia, the pill is supposed to be taken as soon as the individual is aware of potential exposure to the virus in order to avoid severe illness.
Pfizer studied the efficacy of Paxlovid through the EPIC clinical trial method (Evaluation of Protease Inhibition for COVID in High-Risk Patients), according to a press release from the company.
Subject to required clearance from health authorities, the drug will boost accessibility to COVID-19 treatment as Paxlovid can be prescribed more broadly as an "at-home treatment to help reduce illness severity, hospitalizations, and deaths, as well as reduce the probability of infection following exposure, among adults", the company said in a statement.
Currently, all approved treatments for coronavirus in the United States require help from a medical professional for administration and are only available in the form of injectables.
On Tuesday, Pfizer formally requested the Food and Drug Administration to approve the drug. The company also announced that it will permit other pharmaceutical organisations to produce the drug in order to increase its accessibility.
Pfizer CEO Bourla said, "With more than 5 million deaths and countless lives impacted by this devastating disease globally, there is an urgent need for life-saving treatment options", according to reports from CNN.