Story at a glance

  • Pfizer, Inc. reported they began human safety testing regarding a pill that would treat COVID-19 if used during first signs of illness.
  • The drug binds to an enzyme called protease to prevent viral replication and, if taken early enough, is meant to decrease the likelihood of developing serious illness.
  • Specific information, such as ingredients and distribution methods, are not available yet. The company plans to share more data at the American Chemical Society meeting on April 6, 2021.

On Tuesday, March 23, 2021, it was reported that Pfizer, Inc. has begun human safety testing regarding a pill that would treat COVID-19 during first signs of illness.

The drug, code-named as PF-07321332, is a protease-inhibitor, meaning it binds to protease enzymes to prevent viral replication.

Because it is in pill form, it could be administered and taken outside of hospital grounds.

Mikael Dolsten, the company’s Chief Scientific Officer, said “this is really a potential game changer.”

This trial is occurring simultaneously as Pfizer’s other drug, an intravenous treatment which is administered to hospitalized patients.

Specific details of the antiviral pill are not available yet, but the company plans to share more data at the Spring American Chemical Society meeting on April 6, 2021.

Read the press release, here.