Matthew Herper in Stat:
Paxlovid, Pfizer’s pill to treat Covid-19, retained its 89% efficacy at preventing hospitalization and death in the full results of a study of 2,246 high-risk patients, the company said Tuesday.
In early November, Pfizer had released interim results from the first 1,219 patients in the study. But another oral antiviral targeting Covid, from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, had seen estimates of its efficacy at preventing hospitalization drop from 50% to 30% between an interim result and a final one. A panel of experts advising the Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 30 recommended 13-11 that the Merck pill, molnupiravir, should be authorized for emergency use. The FDA has not announced a decision.
The oral medicines are seen as important because they could be much easier to deliver to infected people than existing drugs like monoclonal antibodies, which must be infused intravenously or injected.