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💥 #GoodNewsTues: Clinical Trial Edition! 💥

Treatments

Pfizer’s antiviral regimen appears highly effective at keeping high-risk COVID-19 patients alive and out of the hospital, and demonstrates no safety concerns in the final reporting from its pivotal randomized controlled trial.

These findings are especially welcome in the wake of deep disappointment surrounding the lackluster final trial results of Merck’s antiviral.

But before we get too carried away by the hype, it’s important to keep a few concerns in mind:

✋ These are top-line results from a press release. They have not yet been vetted via regulatory processes, peer review, etc. But they will be soon!

✋ The study population was limited to unvaccinated people with at least one additional risk marker (e.g. being over 65). Results are shakier (but still trending hopeful) for lower-risk populations (link below).

✋ Trial conditions may not generalize well to everyday settings:

➡️ An infection must be caught EARLY for the treatment to work (~3 days…so no testing delays!);

➡️ The treatment regimen requires taking multiple pills over 5 days (so no medication adherence challenges!);

➡️ Limited supplies likely mean access won’t be universal for a little while (must be able to get your hands on a scrip!).

Caveats aside, the Pfizer report-out remains good news, and is a legitimate cause for optimism. There’s also a cherry on top: Preliminary lab studies suggest the drug likely retains its effectiveness for the Omicron variant. We’ll stay on the beat as we learn more!

Stay safe, stay hopeful.

Love,
Your Nerdy Girls

References:

Pfizer press release

Stat News breakdown (very good!)

Image credit, CNBC

Good read on Merck’s antiviral woes

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