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Pfizer Testing a New At-Home COVID-19 Pill Mark Lennihan/AP

The Drugmaker Pfizer has been on the forefront of Covid-19 vaccination throughout this deadly pandemic. And now the company may have a new cure: a single-pill treatment for those could be available this year.

“PF-07321332”

For now, Pfizer’s preliminary drug is called PF-07321332. It’s currently in a Phase One clinical trial, being tested on healthy adults. The pill, taken orally, is a protease inhibitor that prevents the virus from attaching to the long protein chains needed to reproduce itself. Should the antiviral drug prove successful in human trials, this could be a game-changer for those exposed to SARS-COV-2. And according to the Telegraph, PF-07321332 could be available this year! Just imagine: lockdowns and quarantines fading into distant memory…

Chief scientific officer Mikael Dolsten explained in a press release from Pfizer inc. that the pill would be prescribed “at the first sign of infection” to avoid further hospitalization or critical care.

How Does It Work?

Currently, Protease inhibitors are used to treat HIV and Hepatitis C by attacking the virus’ protease enzymes to prevent it from multiplying. A team of 210 researchers have been working on utilizing that technology for PF-07321332 throughout the pandemic. Worldwide research was conducted by Pfizer at pharma factories in America and Belgium.

Now 60 volunteers, all healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 60, are part of the first phase of clinical trials on humans. PF-07321332 has proven successful at battling Covid-19 in vitro but these trials will be necessary to determine potential side effects in people. The three-phase trial will last for 145 days, plus an additional 28 days for “screening and dosing” the patients.

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Naturally, this optimistic piece of news is trending. As the widespread rollout of Covid-19 vaccines has already curtailed the virus’ body count dramatically, Pfizer’s follow-up drug — should it test safely — would prove miraculous for our current Coronavirus healthcare.

WATCH: Can I Still Spread the Coronavirus After I’m Vaccinated?

Emily Mack About the author:
Emily Mack is a staff writer for Rare. She currently lives in Chicago and has very strong opinions about where to find the best hot dog. She studied nonfiction writing at Columbia University in New York City, and recently graduated with the Ellis Avery Prize for creative writing. Her favorite topics are Cher, fast fashion, Chicago urban legends, and Jack Nicholson movies.
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