Pfizer is licensing its antiviral pill to treat COVID-19 to the nonprofit Medicines Patent Pool, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Earlier this month, Pfizer announced that its investigational antiviral drug to treat COVID-19, a protease inhibitor given in combination with another antiviral, ritonavir, showed an 89 percent reduction in risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization or death in a phase 2/3 trial.
Under this new licensing agreement, the United Nations-backed Medicines Patent Pool will work with generic drugmakers to manufacture the pill for use in 95 countries at a lower cost, the Journal reports. It notes, though, that no country has yet provided regulatory clearance for Paxlovid.
"We must work to ensure that all people — regardless of where they live or their circumstances — have access to these breakthroughs, and we are pleased to be able to work with MPP to further our commitment to equity," Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, says in a statement.
Merck previously announced that it was also licensing its COVID-19 antiviral drug, molnupiravir, to MPP. It reported that its drug reduced the risk of hospitalization or death among high-risk individuals with COVID-19 by half.