Pfizer said on Tuesday that its COVID-19 experimental tablet appeared to be effective against the Omicron variety.
The business also said that the entire findings of its 2,250-person trial corroborated the pill’s promising early anti-viral outcomes: When given soon after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, the medicine decreased hospitalizations and fatalities by roughly 89 percent in high-risk patients.
According to the business, further laboratory testing reveals the medicine retains its efficacy against the Omicron version, as many experts expected. The antiviral medicine was tested against a man-made version of a critical protein that Omicron requires to propagate itself, according to Pfizer.
The updates come as COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalization are all rising again and the U.S. hovers around 800,000 pandemic deaths. The latest surge, driven by the delta variant, is accelerating due to colder weather and more indoor gatherings, even as health officials brace for the impact of the emerging Omicron mutant.
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to soon rule on whether to authorize Pfizer’s pill and a competing pill from Merck, which was submitted to regulators several weeks earlier. If granted, the pills would be the first COVID-19 treatments that Americans could pickup at a pharmacy and take at home.