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Pfizer begins study of oral drug for prevention of COVID-19 By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO. The Pfizer logo appears in the image of an illustration shot taken on March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) -Pfizer Inc said on Monday it has started a mid-to-late-stage study testing its investigational oral antiviral drug for the prevention of COVID-19 infection among those who have been exposed to the virus.

The company and its rivals, including U.S.-based Merck & Co Inc and Swiss pharmaceutical Roche Holding AG (OTC:), have been racing to develop the first antiviral pill for COVID-19.

Pfizer (NYSE:) said it would study the drug, PF-07321332, in up to 2,660 healthy adult participants aged 18 and older who live in the same household as an individual with a confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 infection.

The trial would compare PF-07321332 to a low dose ritonavir. It is an older treatment that’s often used with HIV infections in combination therapies.

Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced earlier this month that they have begun to enroll patients in a trial for their experimental drug molnupiravir, which is used to prevent COVID-19.

Pfizer earlier this month also announced that it has begun a middle-to-late stage trial of PF-7321332 in treatment of COVID-19 for adult patients not admitted to a hospital.

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