That could be a game changer.Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on an experimental antiviral pill to treat COVID-19.
- The Pfizer CEO provided some insight during a recent interview, including the company working on two potential anti-viral treatments: one injectable and one taken orally.
- Bourla says the antiviral treatments are currently being studied.
- If the studies go well, Bourla says he’s hopeful an antiviral could be available by the end of this year.
Why This Matters: No vaccine is 100% in preventing COVID-19. Antivirals will add another tool to combat the illness.
JOE KERNEN: Albert, in a New York paper, it’s the Post, COVID cure may be ready this year from a Pfizer drug it’s a, it’s a, you know which one I’m talking about PF-07321332 is what it said but it prevents a replication of COVID in the nose and it could be an oral medication and they’re calling it a cure, could be ready next year. Is that headline accurate?
BOURLA: Well, it is accurate that we are working on the variant and we’re actually on two, one is injectable and the other one as you just said it is an oral. And particularly the attention is on the oral of the world and of us because provides several advantages and one of them is that you don’t need to go to the hospital to get the treatment of which is the case with all the injectables so far but you can get it home. That could be a game changer. The compound that we are talking about and you said very well the numbers, it is a protease inhibitor. The good thing is that this is also the first molecule that is coming from this type of class, this is good thing because you can combine it with other classes. Also, the mechanism of action, it is such that it’s not expected to be subject to mutations, particularly because it’s not acting on the spike, as we all know, all the mutations that we are hearing right now are seeing this in the proteins of the spike. This one doesn’t work there so that allows us to believe that will be way more effective against the multiple variants. So, all good news. We are now progressing the studies and we will have more news around summer.
TIRREL: Around the summer. What do you think is a reasonable time frame, Albert, for a small molecule antiviral pill like that to get through Phase 3 and actually get out there and potentially be available if all goes well.
BOURLA: Meg, if all goes well and we implement the same speed that we did so far and we are and if regulators also do the same and they are, I hope by the end of the year.
by Jenna Lee,