Pfizer sends antiviral drug data to Health Canada

TORONTO – Pfizer has submitted clinical data to Health Canada on an oral drug it hopes could be used to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in adults.

Its antiviral pill is called PAXLOVID, and is given to adults 18 years of age and older who have a confirmed case of COVID-19 and are at high risk of developing severe illness.

The drug’s maker said in a press release that the pill is designed to block the action of an enzyme in SARS-CoV-2, which is needed for the virus to replicate itself and also helps slow down the progression of the virus. break down drug components to help fight the virus longer. Part of the pill uses ritonavir, an existing drug that has been used in combination with other antiviral drugs before.

This comes two months after Health Canada began considering an experimental pill from drug maker Merck, called molnupiravir, as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

Merck’s oral tablet is still under review in Canada, but has already been approved in the UK and US

The US Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday voted to approve the Merck pill as the first drug Americans can take at home to treat COVID-19.

Both Merck and Pfizer have agreed to allow other countries to manufacture their antiviral drugs, although Pfizer has not yet been approved anywhere.


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