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April 30, 2021

Report: Pfizer COVID pill could reach public by year’s end


Pharma giant Pfizer said a pill it is testing to prevent people from getting severely sick from COVID-19 could become available by the end of the year.

Pfizer CEO Albert Boula revealed the timeline in an interview this week with CNBC. 

The company, which has a large Connecticut presence, announced in March that it had begun human testing on the antiviral pill.

The drug is a protease inhibitor that can prevent the virus from making copies of itself within a cell.

It has been described as a potential game changer that can reach more people than existing treatments because it would be easy to administer at home.

Pfizer envisions people taking the pill at the first sign of infection to prevent the onset of severe symptoms.  

Right now, most available COVID-19 drugs must be given intravenously. They are limited to patients who are hospitalized or at high risk for severe symptoms.

The company has said that similar drugs have been used safely to treat other viruses like HIV and hepatitis C.

The pill comes as a follow-up to Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, which was the first to be authorized in the U.S. 

The company said in announcing human trials on the drug last month that fighting the pandemic requires both prevention through vaccines and treatments for people who become infected with the virus.

Contact Natalie Missakian at

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