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Another Antiviral Pill

Pfizer says its antiviral pill to treat COVID-19 is highly effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death, CNN reports.

In a press release, the company says that its investigational antiviral drug to treat COVID-19 showed an 89 percent reduction in risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization or death, as compared to placebo, in an interim analysis of more than 1,200 adults from its phase 2/3 trial. It notes the drug is a protease inhibitor aimed at preventing the activity of SARS-CoV-2-3CL protease, which the virus needs to replicate. BBC News adds that the treatment is given as three pills twice a day for five days.

"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 chair and CEO of Pfizer, says in a statement.

Earlier this week, the UK approved Merck's antiviral pill molnupiravir to treat COVID-19, and the company is seeking emergency use authorization in the US.