Pfizer Inc. has started human safety testing on a new pill to treat the deadly Covid-19 that can be used at the first sign of illness.
Should the trial succeed, the pill can be prescribed early in an infection to block viral replication before patients get very sick. The pill binds to an enzyme called a protease to keep the virus from replicating.
As seen in the past, protease-inhibiting medicines have been successful in treating other types of viruses, including HIV and Hepatitis C.
“Given this way that SARS-CoV-2 is mutating and the continued global impact of Covid-19, it appears likely that it will be critical to have access to therapeutic options both now and beyond the pandemic,” Michael Dolsten, Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer, said in a statement.
The Pfizer official added that no unexpected problems have been recorded in the study so far and that it could generate results within weeks.