My Geek Score: One of the protagonists of the battle against SARS-CoV-2 has undoubtedly been the vaccination thanks to the efforts of several pharmaceutical companies, today, we have more than five different types of preparations that protect people from serious virus contagion and hospitalizations, process but it could change soon in the form of oral antiviral pills.
What is Covid-19 Pill
The pharmaceutical company Pfizer / Biotech announced the preparations to carry out its Phase 2 clinical trials in humans to test the effectiveness of a pill against Covid-19.
Scientists conduct clinical trials to test a Covid-19 pill with early-stage patients. The hope is that oral antiviral help prevent symptoms from developing, after exposure to the disease. In turn, this could prevent people from being hospitalized, easing pressure on healthcare services.
The clinical trial is currently being carried at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and involves patients agreeing to take pills twice a day. Some receive the drug, while others take a placebo.
Oral antiviral has the potential to not only reduce the duration of Covid-19 symptoms, “it also limit transmission to people in your home if you are sick”, Timothy Sheehan, a virologist at the University of Carolina.
Miranda Kelly and her husband Joe Kelly, who attended the trial, said they were well after two weeks, although they don’t know if they were given the drug or the placebo. She is considered a patient at high risk for diabetes and high blood pressure.
We currently have more than five vaccines available against Covid-19. However, many people do not want to be vaccinated, so researchers have decided to try other protection methods and make them accessible to everyone.
In its announcement, the company mentioned that it expects to have 1,140 participants who, from their homes, will have to consume this pill every 12 hours for five days.
They specified that treatment with the pill should begin on the third day after showing symptoms of Covid-19.
There is also an antiviral agent made by AT-527, Roche, and Atea Pharmaceuticals.
How will Covid-19 pill work?
They work by blocking the virus’s ability to replicate in human cells. In the case of Molnupiravir (a Merck & Co. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics medicine), the enzyme that copies the virus’s genetic is forced to make so many mistakes that the virus cannot replicate itself. This reduces the patient’s viral load, shortens infection time, and prevents the kinds of dangerous immune responses that can cause severe illness and death.
Which Companies are testing Covid-19 pill
Pfizer reported that the drug, baptized as PF-07321322, belongs to a class of antiviral agents known as protease inhibitors.
According to the CDC, one of the most well-known is Tamiflu, which is used to shorten the duration of the flu and, in some cases, reduce the need for hospitalization.
Currently, there is only one FDA-approved antiviral drug on the market to treat Covid-19, Remdesivir, but it should be given intravenously and only to patients who are already hospitalized.
The top candidate for the race is a drug called Molnupiravir from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. The other two include a potential Pfizer Covid-19 Pill, a formulation known as PF07321332.
All pills are under the third clinical stage.
Trials are currently underway and antiviral pill is expected to go under production in late fall or by year end.