Pharmaceutical company Pfizer on Tuesday said that its antiviral Covid-19 pill was effective against the Omicron variant as well as showed 89% efficacy in preventing hospitalisations and deaths in high-risk patients of the coronavirus disease.
In a statement, the company said that the results were consistent with the findings of the interim trial analysis published in November.
The treatment comprises ritonavir and nirmatrelvir tablets. If approved, it would be sold as Paxlovid. The pill will be administered twice daily for five days.
The company has shared the results with the United States’ Food and Drugs Administration for emergency use authorisation of the pills.
The trial, the results of which were published on Tuesday, was conducted on 2,246 adults. No deaths were reported in patients who received the pills as compared to 12 deaths among those were given a placebo.
The company said that the adverse events following immunisation was mild and almost equal between the patients of received the treatment and those who got the placebo. It, however, said that that fewer serious adverse events were seen in those given the treatment.
Pfizer chief Albert Bourla said that the results show that if the treatment is approved, it could have a “meaningful impact” on the many people as the results show it substantially decreases the viral load.
“Emerging variants of concern, like Omicron, have exacerbated the need for accessible treatment options for those who contract the virus, and we are confident that, if authorized or approved, this potential treatment could be a critical tool to help quell the pandemic,” he added.