Pfizer’s oral Covid treatment proved effective against Omicron variants in laboratory tests. This could boon America’s fight to Covid.

New York City-based Paxlovid revealed Tuesday data showing it was FDA approved to use the pill in combating Covid. It showed promising results in three laboratory tests.

In trials still in progress, Nirmatrelvir (the drug’s active ingredient) proved to be effective at neutralizing virus infection.

Since its debut last year, the Omicron mutation has been able to bypass vaccinations and Covid treatments. The pharmaceutical companies are working hard to improve vaccines and treatment to combat the mutant strain.

Paxlovid (pictured), developed by New York City-based Pfizer, was successful at preventing replication of the Omicron variant in three lab tests, the company announced

Paxlovid (pictured), a New York City-based Pfizer drug, prevented the Omicron variation from being replicated in three lab experiments, according to the company.

The drug has been lauded as the new gold standard Covid treatment due to its effectiveness and ease of administration. In trials, it showed it was 90% effective at preventing hospitalization or death from the virus (file photo)

Because of its efficacy and simplicity of administration, the drug is being hailed as the best Covid treatment. It was shown to be 90% effective in preventing death or hospitalization from the virus during trials (file photo).

“We designed PAXLOVID specifically to maintain its activity across coronaviruses as well as current variants with predominantly spike protein mutants,” Dr Michael Dolsten (Pfizer’s chief scientist officer) stated in a statement.

He said that the pill could reduce hospitalizations and death by the virus by 90% if used early.

Dolsten stated that these data show oral COVID-19 treatment can prove to be an effective and important tool in the ongoing battle against this deadly virus, as well as other variants of concern such Omicron.

“We will continue monitoring treatment activity in real world settings and believe that these findings in vitro will continue being validated.” 

It is available in three doses of pills, which are divided into two daily dosages for five consecutive days. To prevent the condition from getting worse, high-risk patients should take the drug immediately they find out that they have contracted it.

Experts praise Paxlovid along with Merck’s molnupiravir because of their accessibility, which is compared to other drugs that are effective and can keep Covid patients in the ICU.

The drug can be given by a doctor to an infected patient, who can then take it at their home without any effort.

For some treatments like monoclonal antibodies, a hospital bed is required, as well as staff, medical equipment, and machines. They are often in very short supply, and they can prove to be extremely expensive.

Pfizer’s Tuesday research found that Nirmatrelvir is effective in stopping the virus from replicating after it has been detected a host. It also prevents it from infecting more cells.

Its ability to fight Omicron is identical to that of previous strains such as Beta and Delta.

“Omicron” is being shown to be a highly transmissible, formidable virus variant of the already dangerous, said Kris White, Ph.D. Assistant Professor at Icahn Mount Sinai’s Department of Microbiology. 

“We are pleased to report early evidence that this oral therapy is still showing strong antiviral activity in vitro against it as well as the other forms of concern.” 

Paxlovid is the most widely used post-infection Covid treatment due to its efficacy and simplicity, but manufacturing problems could make it unsuitable for use worldwide.

Pfizer had estimated in December that the company would have only 30,000,000 courses of the drug worldwide available by 2020. That is not nearly the number of people who want it.

Following an investment of nearly $600million in France, this company hopes that it can boost France’s production.

Merck on the other side has formed partnerships with generic producers around the globe and joined forces with an UN health group in order to mass-produce the drug at a low cost.

Pfizer chose not to use Paxlovid generically, just as it did for its vaccine.