The Covid-19 vaccine may change in appearance in the near future to an at-home pill.
Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla recently told CNBC that an experimental oral drug to treat Covid-19 is in the works. Bourla told CNBC that the new pill could be distributed across the U.S. by the end of this year.
The clinical trials for the experimental drug started in March. Pfizer says the oral antiviral clinical candidate, a SARS-CoV2-3CL protease inhibitor has been effective at treating other viral pathogens such as hepatitis C and HIV.
Focusing on preventing hospital trips.
“Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic requires both prevention via vaccine and targeted treatment for those who contract the virus,” said Dr. Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer, in a press release. “Given the 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.”
The oral pill “provides several advantages” Bourla said in the interview. One of them is that you don’t need to go to the hospital, he explained, which can be a “game-changer.”
“You are as protected as your neighbor,” Bourla told CNBC. The company has made “tremendous progress in improving the processes, in building infrastructure with the speed of light,” he said.
When will we learn more about the covid-19 oral pill? “All good news. We are now progressing the studies and we will have more news around summer,” Bourla said.