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UPDATE: Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 antiviral cuts hospitalization, death by 85%, sending team barreling to FDA

November 5, 2021


Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid has cut the risk of hospitalization or death by 85% in a late-phase trial, prompting the Big Pharma to stop the study and race to seek emergency use authorization from the FDA.

Merck showed oral antivirals can make a difference in COVID-19 around one month ago, presenting late-phase data showing its candidate halved the risk of hospitalization and death. Comparing results from different studies can give a misleading impression, but, on the surface, it appears Pfizer may have reset expectations of efficacy for oral antivirals.

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