Paxlovid: The pill for Covid-19
Recently there are many medications are introduced by the various pharma companies for the treatment of the Covid-19 but the safety and efficacy were questionable. Also, the major limitation was the route administration, most of the medications introduced for the treatment of Covid-19 should be taken by the intravenous route and that to in-hospital setting. There was the only drug available for the Covid-19 treatment was Favipiravir and that is a repurposed drug the safety and efficacy not established. However, those medications are repurposed and not specifically for the Covid-19. An oral medication that can be taken by the home quarantined patient was the need of the hour.
The oral medication introduced by one of the major pharma company Pfizer is Paxlovid (Nirmatrelvir tablets and Ritonavir tablets) is a breakthrough, it is the first drug specifically designed for SARS-CoV-2, not a repurposed molecule its efficacy supports that specific effort. Also, First USFDA approved pill for COVID-19.
Paxlovid, an orally active small molecule, is derived from a precursor that was active against SARS. It binds to the virus’s main protease (Mpro), a key upstream step before it gets into high gear replication. Inhibiting Mpro is a choke point for the virus, making it unable to replicate.
Major findings from EPIC-HR trial
- Full results in 2,246 patients mirror analysis results in 1,219 patients 89% reduction of hospitalization or deaths
- The primary endpoint achieved in Placebo 66/1046 (6.3%) vs Paxlovid 8/1039 (0.8%)
- 12 vs 0 deaths, Placebo and Paxlovid respectively
- relative benefit at 3 days similar to 5 days after symptom onset
- 94% reduction in people age 65+
- 10-fold reduction in viral load
- Fewer adverse events in active vs placebo arms
- Lab data shows potent anti-Omicron activity
USFDA approved Paxlovid for the treatment of mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms or about 88 pounds) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.
Commercial presentation going to be a blister pack for 5-days. Twice a day: Two 150 mg tablets of Paxlovid (Nirmatrelvir), and One 100 mg of Ritonavir.
The Paxlovid pill proved the safety and efficacy for the Covid-19 prevention but the very important step to prevent the Covid-19 is getting fully vaccinated when your turn comes. Vaccination is the only way to get protected against corona virus. Also, social precautions like following social distancing, wearing mask while going outside, avoiding to go in crowded places and sanitizing are most important.