Pfizer initiates Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for its drug Paxlovid in children aged six to 17

Pfizer has initiated Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of Paxlovid, the oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19, in children aged six to 17 years.

The drug was touted by President Biden as one of the most effective treatments for the virus and will play a key role in his future Covid plan.

It’s already received emergency use approval for Americans 12 and older who weigh at least 88 pounds, but initial drug trials don’t include the 12 to 17-year-old age group.

The drug is considered a game changer due to its estimated effectiveness of about 89 percent in preventing hospitalization and death from Covid.

Pfizer has launched Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for its antiviral COVID-19 drug Paxlovid for children ages six to 17.  It's already approved for all Americans ages 12 and older (file photo)

Pfizer has launched Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for its antiviral COVID-19 drug Paxlovid for children ages six to 17.  It's already approved for all Americans ages 12 and older (file photo)

Pfizer has launched Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for its antiviral COVID-19 drug Paxlovid for children ages six to 17. It’s already approved for all Americans ages 12 and older (file photo)

According to a publication by the New York City-based company, 140 children ages six to 17 will be younger.

Participants are divided into two groups based on their idiosyncrasy and are given different dosages of the drug depending on their weight.

The pharmaceutical giant also says it has plans to start trials of the drug for children under the age of six.

During his State of the Union address last week, President Joe Biden (pictured) praised Paxlovid's effectiveness in preventing hospitalization and death from Covid

During his State of the Union address last week, President Joe Biden (pictured) praised Paxlovid's effectiveness in preventing hospitalization and death from Covid

During his State of the Union address last week, President Joe Biden (pictured) praised Paxlovid’s effectiveness in preventing hospitalization and death from Covid

Paxlovid has been widely praised by health experts after it showed great ability in early clinical trials to prevent the most serious Covid symptoms.

The drug should be taken by a person already infected with Covid in three pill doses to be taken twice a day for five days.

It has shown a strong ability to neutralize the virus and prevent it from multiplying and spreading the infection throughout the body.

The company has been plagued with manufacturing problems in recent months, and the availability of the drug has been very limited. It seems that some issues have been resolved over the past few weeks.

Last week, in his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden praised the drug’s effectiveness and announced that the US had doubled its purchase order.

“If you get COVID-19, the Pfizer pill reduces your chance of ending up in the hospital by 90 percent,” Biden said.

“I’ve ordered more pills than anyone in the world. Pfizer is working overtime to get us a million pills this month and more than double that next month.’

Paxlovid will play a key role in the White House’s “Test to Treat” program, giving Americans who test positive at a pharmacy quick free access to the pills.

The drug is already another success — and a financial windfall — for Pfizer, whose vaccine is also most widely used in the US and much of the rest of the developed world.

However, it faces stiff competition from Merck, a New Jersey-based company, and its Covid antiviral pill molnupiravir.

After the initial clinical trials, molnupiravir was expected to become the new gold standard treatment for Covid.

The antiviral pill initially showed it could reduce hospitalizations and deaths caused by the virus by 50 percent.

Subsequent tests showed that the effectiveness dropped to about 30 percent, although it was still an inexpensive and easy-to-administer option to treat the virus.

However, some concerns have been raised about how molnupiravir works, including the possibility that recipients may be at increased risk of developing cancer due to the way it works with RNA and DNA.

Source: | This article is originally from Dailymail.co.uk

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