The European Commission on Friday approved Paxlovid- Pfizer’s antiviral pill for COVID-19- a day after the region’s health regulator endorsed the tablet, a move that will ensure wide availability of the promising treatment to EU member states.
The final go-ahead by the executive body of the European Union (EU) was tweeted by EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides as the region is beefing up its defences against the coronavirus amid the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant.
A key step in bringing the most promising therapeutics 💊💊to citizens and a strong, second line of defence against the pandemic after vaccination. pic.twitter.com/xBjzNpGANf
— Stella Kyriakides (@SKyriakidesEU) January 28, 2022
About Paxlovid (PF-07321332)
PAXLOVID is an investigational SARS-CoV-2 protease inhibitor antiviral therapy, specifically designed to be administered orally so that it can be prescribed at the first sign of infection or at first awareness of an exposure, potentially helping patients avoid severe illness which can lead to hospitalization and death. PF-07321332 is designed to block the activity of the SARS-CoV-2-3CL protease, an enzyme that the coronavirus needs to replicate. Co-administration with a low dose of ritonavir helps slow the metabolism, or breakdown, of PF-07321332 in order for it to remain active in the body for longer periods of time at higher concentrations to help combat the virus.
Paxlovid inhibits viral replication at a stage known as proteolysis, which occurs before viral RNA replication. In preclinical studies, PF-07321332 did not demonstrate evidence of mutagenic DNA interactions.
Pfizer initiated the EPIC-HR study in July 2021 following positive Phase 1 clinical trial results and continues to evaluate the investigational antiviral in additional EPIC studies. In August 2021, Pfizer initiated the Phase 2/3 EPIC-SR (Evaluation of Protease Inhibition for COVID-19 in Standard-Risk Patients), to evaluate efficacy and safety in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection who are at standard risk (i.e., low risk of hospitalization or death). EPIC-SR includes a cohort of vaccinated patients who have an acute breakthrough symptomatic COVID-19 infection and who have risk factors for severe illness. In September, Pfizer initiated the Phase 2/3 EPIC-PEP (Evaluation of Protease Inhibition for COVID-19 in Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) to evaluate efficacy and safety in adults exposed to SARS-CoV-2 by a household member.