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Pfizer CEO sees the Covid-19 oral antiviral pill ready by the end of 2021

Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, said Tuesday he hopes the company's coronavirus oral antiviral therapeutic in early-stage trials will be prepared by the end of the year. "...If all goes well and we implement the same speed that we did so far and we are and if regulators also do the same and they are, I hope by the end of the year," Bourla said, per a transcript, when addressed over a timeline.

The so-called "protease inhibitor" candidate works by avoiding the infection from imitating. If the infection cannot replicate, then it cannot further contaminate the host.

Lab studies demonstrated the candidate was strong against SARS-CoV-2, and against other coronaviruses, Pfizer previously declared. The company is additionally studying an IV-administered protease inhibitor in a Phase 1b trial to serve as a choice for hospitalized patients.

Bourla believes the pill would hold up against variant strains since it doesn’t target the surface spike protein on the infection. Bourla noted additional updates on the advancing studies might come this summer.

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