Pfizer signs $5.3 billion COVID-19 pill deal with US government – Community News

Pfizer signs $5.3 billion COVID-19 pill deal with US government

Paxlovid, a Pfizer’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pill, is manufactured in Ascoli, Italy, seen in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on Nov. 16, 2021. Pfizer/Handout via REUTERS

Nov. 18 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) has signed a $5.29 billion deal with the U.S. government to supply 10 million courses of its oral antiviral COVID-19 drug starting this year, the drugmaker said Thursday. .

The oral drug could be a promising new weapon in the fight against the pandemic as it could be used as an early home treatment to help prevent hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.

Pfizer filed Tuesday for US approval of the drug Paxlovid, saying it will produce 180,000 courses by the end of next month and at least 50 million courses by the end of 2022.

“This promising treatment could help us accelerate our way out of this pandemic by providing another life-saving tool for people who are getting sick with COVID-19,” said Xavier Becerra, secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The company said earlier this month that the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% for adults at risk of serious illness. read more

The results of the trial suggest that Pfizer’s drug outperforms Merck & Co Inc’s (MRK.N) pill molnupiravir, which was shown last month to increase the risk of death or hospitalization for COVID-19 patients with high blood pressure. risk of serious illness halved.

The US government has also signed a $2.2 billion contract for cures of the drug Merck.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.