Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced in a press release on Tuesday that it had requested emergency marketing authorization in the United States for its anti-Covid pill, Paxlovid, from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
This oral treatment, announced as 89% effective against severe forms of Covid-19, is eagerly awaited on the international scene because it can be taken at home in the first days after the onset of symptoms in the event of infection.
Antivirals, such as Molnupiravir from Merck or Paxlovid, work by reducing the ability of a virus to replicate, thereby slowing down the disease.
According to Pfizer, its pill is primarily intended to combat mild to moderate forms of the infection.
The treatment could be prescribed "at home to high-risk patients at the first sign of infection, potentially helping patients avoid serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and death," the laboratory notes.
No deaths reported
At the end of September, Pfizer announced that it had started a large-scale clinical trial to test the effectiveness of its antiviral treatment.
According to the company statement, "the planned interim analysis showed an 89% reduction in the risk of hospitalization or death from Covid-19, whatever the cause, compared to placebo in patients treated within three days of symptom onset.
Similar reductions in Covid-19-related hospitalizations or deaths "were seen in patients treated within five days of symptom onset" and "no deaths were reported in patients who received Paxlovid, compared to 10 (1.6%) deaths in patients who received placebo, ”read the press release.
Caution before publishing complete data
At the beginning of last October, the American laboratory Merck also filed an application for authorization of its antiviral treatment with the American authorities.
The European Medicines Agency announced in the wake of launching the accelerated review of this treatment.
Given to patients within days of a positive test, it would halve the risk of hospitalization and death, according to a clinical trial conducted by Merck.
On November 4, the United Kingdom became the first country to allow its marketing.
Read alsoCovid-19: why the Merck pill cannot replace vaccines
If each of the two laboratories has announced good, even very good results of its treatment to reduce the risk of severe form of Covid-19, doctors and scientists warn against the lack of complete data.
“The information available by press release is very partial, generally embellished, and mainly intended for the stock market.
Detailed information is essential for a thorough analysis and for a reliable conclusion ”, explained to the Parisian the epidemiologist Mahmoud Zureik, at the head of the Epi-Phare grouping, at the beginning of November.