Pfizer said Thursday it will sell 10 million Covid-19 treatment courses to the United States government for US$5.3 billion, pending approval from regulators.
The pharmaceutical giant asked the US Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday for emergency use authorisation for its Paxlovid antiviral pill which has been shown to cut hospitalisation or death by nearly 90 per cent among newly-infected high risk patients treated within three days of the onset of symptoms.
“We were thrilled with the recent results of our Phase 2/3 interim analysis, which showed overwhelming efficacy of Paxlovid… and are pleased the US government recognises this potential,” Pfizer chairman and chief executive Albert Bourla said in a statement.
“It is encouraging to see a growing understanding of the valuable role that oral investigational therapies may play in combatting Covid-19, and we look forward to continuing discussions with governments around the world to help ensure broad access for people everywhere.”
Pfizer will start delivering the treatments to the US government later this year through the end of 2022, the statement said.
The company has also entered into advance purchase agreements with several other countries and has initiated bilateral outreach to approximately 100 countries around the world, and is committed to working on “equitable access” for the treatment at an affordable price.
On Tuesday it announced a deal with the UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to sub-license production for supply in 95 low- and middle-income nations covering around 53 per cent of the world’s population.
The move comes a few weeks after Merck also approached the FDA seeking a green light for its antiviral capsule against the coronavirus. – AFP