Washington (USA) | Jagran News Desk: United States (US) pharmaceutical firm Pfizer on Friday said that its "experimental" antiviral COVID-19 pill can reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death by 89 per cent in vulnerable groups. The claims were made by Pfizer following a preliminary study conducted on 775 adults, adding that early trials have been stopped as "initial results were so positive".

Pfizer is now planning to apply for emergency use authorisation of the antiviral pill, which will be known as 'Paxlovid', to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US. "We were hoping that we had something extraordinary, but it’s rare that you see great drugs come through with almost 90 per cent efficacy and 100 per cent protection for death," told Pfizer's chief scientific officer Dr Mikael Dolsten while speaking to the AP.

Here's everything you need to know about the antiviral COVID-19 pill Paxlovid developed by Pfizer:

- The pill will be given to those infected with mild or severe COVID-19 in three doses daily.

- According to Pfizer, only 0.8 per cent of people who took part in the trials were hospitalised within three days of symptom onset. It said that no one died by 28 days after the treatment.

- It also said that the hospitalisation rate was only 7 per cent in the placebo group. Seven deaths were also reported in the placebo group, as per Pfizer.

Also Read -- Jagran Explainer: Merck's antiviral COVID-19 pill which is termed as a 'game-changer' against pandemic

- The company said that the rates were similar in patients who were treated within five days of symptoms -- only 1 per cent of people in the treatment group were hospitalised. The rate was 6.7 per cent in the placebo group which also included 10 deaths.

- Currently, no side effects of Paxlovid have been reported so far. However, Pfizer said that "adverse events" were reported 20 per cent treatment and placebo groups.

- Pfizer has also said that it is expecting to produce over 1.8 lakh Paxlovid packs by the end of this year. Meanwhile, it will likely produce 50 million packs of the antiviral COVID-19 drug by the end of 2022.

- "These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients' lives, reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalisations," Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla said in a statement.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma