Pfizer Initiates Phase 1 Oral Antiviral Study Investigating PF-07321332, Pursuing Merck’s Molnupiravir for Ownership of Massive Market for Treating Early Onset COVID-19

Vaccination programs targeting COVID-19 now unfold around the world. While over time this will have a profound impact on the pandemic, vaccines will never represent the entire solution. Therapies targeting the pathogen for early onset care are badly needed. U.S. and European pharmaceutical COVID-19 research centered on the gap in therapeutic treatment for early onset, mild to moderate symptoms, the vast majority of COVID-19 cases. While a number of generic, repurposed drugs were identified early on in the pandemic, the pharmaceutical innovation system incentivizes novel therapeutics over cheap generics. TrialSite has chronicled this trend clearly by looking carefully at how the National Institute of Health (NIH) and its public-private Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) directed clinical trial funding allocation patterns. The overwhelming total of what is probably north of $15 billion has gone into vaccines and highly novel therapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies. Other less rich nations focused more on repurposed drugs for this critical care market segment, the over one hundred million people that have been infected or who m...

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