New Delhi: US drugmaker and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer attributed three separate studies and claimed that its Anti-viral pill Paxlovid is effective against the Omicron variant of Coronavirus.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the drugmaker said that nirmatrelvir, the active main protease (Mpro) inhibitor of its antiviral pill Paxlovid is effective against Omicron. In November 2021, Pfizer had announced that its clinical trial data shows Paxlovid, reduced the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19 by 89 per cent.
“We specifically designed Paxlovid to retain its activity across coronaviruses, as well as current variants of concern with predominantly spike protein mutations. Following the clinical findings – showing Paxlovid reduced risk of hospitalization or death by nearly 90% compared to placebo for high-risk patients when treated within five days of symptom onset – we are encouraged by these initial laboratory findings,” said Mikael Dolsten, Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical of Pfizer.
“These data suggest that our oral COVID-19 therapy can be an important and effective tool in our continued battle against this devastating virus and current variants of concern, including the highly transmissible Omicron. We will continue to monitor the treatment’s activity in real-world settings and believe that these in vitro findings will continue to be validated, ” he added.
Pfizer’s first In-vitro study found that nirmatrelvir was a potent inhibitor against the Mpro – an enzyme that the coronavirus needs to replicate.
In its second study, nirmatrelvir was tested against several SARS-CoV-2 Variants of concern and found a similar antiviral activity against Omicron.
In its third study conducted with Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Icahn Mount Sinai) found that similar quantities of Paxlovid were needed to be effective against Omicron and other variants like Alpha, Beta and Delta.
“Omicron is proving itself to be a formidable and highly transmissible variant of an already detrimental virus,” said Kris White, Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology at Icahn Mount Sinai. “We are heartened to see early data showing that this oral treatment is maintaining robust in vitro antiviral activity against it, as well as other variants of concern.”
The company added that the study has been sent submitted to the online preprint server bioRxiv and will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.
Paxlovid is currently authorized for conditional or emergency use in USA and Canada for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg).