An oral antiviral therapeutic agent against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is being made available across the country.
The agent is manufactured by Pfizer, and Phase 1 trials began in March. Studies have shown that the new antiviral agent is a “potent protease inhibitor” against the virus, according to Pfizer.
“Alongside vaccines, antiviral therapeutics are an important part of the healthcare response to counter the ongoing threat presented by COVID-19,” said Dafydd Owen with Pfizer Worldwide Research, as reported by News-Medical.net.
The new oral drug is meant to be taken at the first sign of COVID symptoms. Protease inhibitors work by preventing an enzyme the virus needs to replicate in human cells. They are used to treat other viral pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis C.
Pfizer hopes to gain FDA approval by the end of the year. Researchers hope the medication will help prevent the virus from progressing and keep people out of hospitals, many of which are back at capacity because of the COVID delta-variant surge.