Pfizer starts tests of potential Covid19 preventive drug
Pfizer has started testing its potential Covid-19 treatment as a preventive medicine aimed at warding off the virus if a close contact gets it.
The drug maker said Monday that it will study the pill it is developing in combination with a low dose of the HIV drug ritonavir in people who are at least 18 years old and live in the same household with someone who is infected.
Pfizer plans to enroll 2,660 people in the late-stage study. Those participating will get either the treatment combination or a fake drug orally twice a day for five to 10 days.
Other companies are also testing existing oral antivirals against Covid but Pfizer’s is the first specifically designed against the coronavirus.
Pfizer is also studying its potential treatment in people who are already infected with the virus. It is designed to be prescribed at the first sign of infection without requiring patients to be hospitalized.
The medications developed to treat and prevent viral infections in people and animals, work differently depending on the type. But they can be engineered to boost the immune system to fight infection, block receptors so viruses can’t enter healthy cells or lower the amount of active virus in the body.