American pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced on Friday that its investigational COVID-19 oral antiviral candidate, Paxlovid, showed an 89 percent reduction in hospitalisation or lethal cases in high-risk patients.
"The scheduled interim analysis showed an 89% reduction in risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization or death from any cause compared to placebo in patients treated within three days of symptom onset (primary endpoint)," Pfizer said in a statement.
None of the patients who received Paxlovid died during the testing that lasted 28 days, compared with 10 deaths (1.6%) among those who received a placebo.
"Today's news is a real game-changer in the global efforts to halt the devastation of this pandemic. These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved or authorized by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients' lives, reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations," Albert Bourla, the chairman and the CEO at Pfizer, said.
Pfizer plans now to submit the data of the study to the US Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) as soon as possible.
If approved or authorized, Paxlovid, would be the first oral antiviral of its kind, a specifically designed SARS-CoV-2-3CL protease inhibitor, the statement added.