Pfizer races to create Coronavirus drug

Pharmaceutical companies are in a rush to create a treatment against the novel virus. Pfizer seems to be one step ahead of the competition.

Good news on the Corona front line: Pfizer said that it identified a drug candidate that can probably help patients infected with Coronavirus.

The potential drug is an antiviral that "if successful, would be given early in the disease process when patients are admitted to the hospital," the company's chief scientific officer, Mikael Dolsten said yesterday. The potential treatment showed positive signs in preclinical work, as it prevents the virus from spreading.

Besides that, studies have started to determine if Xeljanz, a drug used in treating rheumatoid arthritis, can have benefits for people dealing with respiratory illness caused by the infection.

The share price rose 2.3% on Thursday to $35.39 after Dr. Dolsten spoke about the treatment. Since March 23, shares went up more than 25%.

More preclinical studies are said to start in the third quarter of 2020, which is faster than the first ten months predicted. And if everything goes according to plan, Pfizer will be able to provide "millions of vaccine doses by the end of 2020."

One of Pfizer’s rivals in developing a treatment, Gilead, already started working on experimental medicine and began trials with patients suffering from moderate and severe symptoms.


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Sources: cnbc.com, reuters.com, yahoo.com

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