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Pfizer says ‘good reason’ to believe in success of anti-viral drug

The chief executive of Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) said on Friday he had “very good reason” to believe in the success of an oral COVID-19 antiviral therapy by the drugmaker now in an early-stage US trial.

Albert Bourla said last month he was hopeful that a COVID-19 antiviral drug would be available by the end of the year. Pfizer has said the antiviral candidate showed potent activity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in lab studies.

“Right now we have very good reason to believe that we can be successful,” Bourla told an economic forum in Athens via video conference, adding the first results on its efficacy would be available after the summer.

According to a report in early May, Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is testing a potential treatment for Covid-19 and according to its CEO Albert Bourla, the experimental oral drug could be available by the end of the year.

Bourla told local media that clinical trials are underway for the pill that can be ingested orally at home to combat Covid-19 when illness is first detected.

If that goes well and the Food and Drug Administration approves it, the COVID-19 pill could be distributed across the US by the end of the year, the report added.

This comes after a report said that up to 60 volunteers, all clean-living adults aged between 18 and 60, are being given the antiviral drug at two Pfizer locations, one in the US and the other in Belgium.

“Tackling the Covid-19 pandemic requires both prevention via vaccine and targeted treatment for those who contract the virus,” said Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, in a statement.

“Given the way that SARS-CoV-2 is mutating and the continued global impact of Covid-19, it appears likely that it will be critical to have access to therapeutic options both now and beyond the pandemic.”

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