Pharmaceutical company Pfizer said it had started large-scale clinical trials for a drug made to prevent people from contracting COVID-19.
The trial for this oral antibiotic will involve 2,660 healthy adult participants living in a house with a person infected with COVID-19.
Pfizer is also conducting studies of the drug in people who have been infected with COVID-19 but have not shown serious symptoms.
“If successful, we believe this treatment will be able to stop the virus at an early stage, before it has a chance to reproduce further,” said Pfizer’s chief scientific executive, Dr. Mikael Dolsten, in his statement.
The drug in the form of a pill tries to block a key enzyme that the virus needs to reproduce. If successful, scientists say the pill will be effective only in the first stages of infection.
As the COVID-19 disease progresses, the viral reproduction process generally stops, and the patient is then affected by a highly active immune response. (jm/my)