Pfizer is looking to release its own at-home treatment for COVID-19, and it comes in pill form.
By the end of the year, Pfizer, the company that produced the very first authorized coronavirus vaccine, could have an at-home pill that helps people fight the virus when they first see signs of it. On Tuesday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC that the company started clinical testing for a new antiviral therapy for the disease back in March.
The experimental pill is a part of a group of medicines called protease inhibitors, which work by restraining an enzyme the virus needs to replicate in humans cells. These same protease inhibitors are used to fight against other viral pathogens, like HIV and hepatitis C.
The oral drug could be available by the end of the year if it does well in clinical trials and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves it.
Health experts hope the pill goes over well, as it could prevent hospitals from getting overpacked with COVID-19 patients. People who feel they are getting early symptoms of the disease would be able to take the pill to help alleviate symptoms and ultimately stop the disease from getting worse.
Right now, Pfizer is working on making sure its vaccine is safe for children to receive. The vaccine is currently testing in children six months to 11 years old.