Pfizer has launched a study investigating an oral antiviral drug for the prevention of COVID-19 infection among individuals who have been exposed to the coronavirus.
PF-07321332, a SARS-CoV-2-3CL protease inhibitor, will be administered alongside a low dose of ritonavir, a medication primarily used in combination treatments for HIV infection.
The phase II/III Evaluation of Protease Inhibition for COVID-19 in Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (EPIC-PEP) trial will test PF-07321332 in up to 2,660 adults aged 18 and older who live in the same household as someone with a confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 infection. It is also being evaluated in another trial of symptomatic, non-hospitalized adult patients with COVID-19.
Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics have launched a late-stage trial of their experimental drug, molnupiravir, for the prevention of COVID-19. Molnupiravir is also being evaluated in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19 infection to see if it reduces the risk of hospitalization or death.
Currently, Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir is the only approved antiviral treatment for COVID-19 in the U.S.