Pfizer testing oral drug to prevent COVID-19 in those exposed to virus

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Pfizer has started mid-to-late stage trials to test an oral drug designed to prevent COVID-19 in those who’ve been exposed to the virus, the company announced Monday.  The drugmaker has moved forward in examining the effects of the oral antiviral candidate PF-07321332 after its first trial phase determined the drug was “safe and well-tolerated.” In the next phase, Pfizer will enroll up to 2,660 healthy adults who live in the same household as a person with a confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 infection. Participants will receive the oral drug and a low dose of the HIV drug ritonavir to help slow the breakdown of PF-07321332 to keep it in the body longer, or a placebo twice daily for five to 10 days. The protease inhibitor works by blocking the activity of an enzyme that the virus needs to duplicate. The study aims to “assess safety and efficacy” of the drug in preventing COVID-19 cases and symptoms through two weeks after exposure. Pfizer said in a release that the
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