Pfizer released results of their trials last week, the antiviral pill shown to have cut the risk of both hospitalisation and death by 89%.
Pfizer has become a huge name in COVID-19 treatments – being the first to launch a vaccine for coronavirus, bringing a vaccine booster and getting authorised for teenagers and children.
Huge revenue has followed these milestones, the pharmaceutical giant recently increasing its forecast revenue from coronavirus vaccines in just this year to $36 billion – its forecast for total revenue being at least $81 billion. In addition to this, Pfizer’s stock has gained around 18% this year.
Pfizer’s new antiviral pill, developed to treat COVID-19, could be available early in the new year, depending upon regulatory approval.
Britain has ordered 250,000 courses of this new treatment already, the country manager for Pfizer UK Ben Osborn commenting to Sky’s Ian King Live that the company was “working at real pace with regulators around the world and in particular in the UK here with the MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency]”, following interim trial results – coming from a study containing 775 adults.
“We expect to be filing in the near future – in the coming weeks – and then I would hope, subject to their approval, we may see this medicine being available very early in 2022.” Osborn continued.
In the UK, the new treatment, alongside another antiviral approved by the country (developed by Merck) will be used to treat those who are deemed most at risk from COVID-19, in the hopes this will reduce symptom severity and alleviate pressure on the NHS.
In the study, patients were reported to have a reduction in their combined rate of death or hospitalisation of 89% after a month when taking the new treatment (alongside another antiviral) compared to the placebo.
Patients in the study were considered high risk (due to health problems including heart disease, obesity, or diabetes). All participants were also unvaccinated and had mild-moderate COVID-19.