Pfizer has launched early-stage human trials of an experimental oral drug that could be prescribed to patients at the first sign of infection with COVID-19. The drug maker, which developed the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. with Germany’s BioNTech SE, said the antiviral candidate showed potent activity against the virus in lab studies. Pfizer’s candidate, which is called PF-07321332, belongs to a class of drugs known as protease inhibitors. The pill would work by inhibiting an enzyme that the coronavirus uses to make copies of itself inside human cells.
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