CEO of Pfizer’s says his company’s oral COVID-19 treatment will work against the Omicron variant
“I’m very very confident that this drug works for all known mutations, including the Omicron one,” Bourla said on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “But we are working on other drugs for the eventual case that maybe a resistance is developed.”
Bourla said that Pfizer designed the pill to work regardless of the virus’s mutation. The pill does not attack the virus itself, but rather blocks an enzyme that plays a key role in its copying process, Insider’s Andrew Dunn reported.
On November 17, the pharma giant asked the Food and Drug Administration to grant emergency use authorization for its oral antiviral drug to treat mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19.
Pfizer said the pill, which the firm will brand as Paxlovid,led to a 89% reduction in hospitalizations and deaths in a study of 774 participants.
Scientists are still unsure of the severity of infections caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The Omicron variant was first sequenced by researchers in South Africa, where it has spread rapidly. The variant has been identified in Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Canada and South Africa, according to Reuters.
Pfizer isn’t the only pharmaceutical working on an oral COVID-19 treatment. Merck has asked the FDA to authorize their antiviral pill, which was found to halve the risk of hospitalization or death among adults with mild to moderate symptoms.