Pfizer identifies an antiviral drug as a potential treatment of Coronavirus

Written by: Wajeeh Khan
April 28, 2020
  • Pfizer says it has identified an antiviral drug as a potential treatment of COVID-19.
  • Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Mikael Dolsten expects clinical trials to begin in Q3.
  • Pfizer partnered with German BioNTech to develop Coronavirus vaccine in March.

Dr. Mikael Dolsten of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) stated on Thursday that the American multinational pharmaceutical corporation has identified a drug candidate as a potential treatment for Coronavirus. Dr. Dolsten is currently serving as the chief scientific officer at Pfizer.

In an interview with CNBC, Dolsten highlighted that if the identified antiviral is found successful, it would be administered in the COVID-19 patients at an early stage as soon as they are admitted to the hospital.

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The chief scientific officer referred to the preclinical work and accentuated that the drug has posted positive signs so far as a potential treatment for the flu-like virus as it acts to prevent the expansion of COVID-19.

Trials For The Identified Antiviral Could Begin In Q3

The clinical trials, Dolsten added, for a potential Coronavirus drug were originally planned for the end of 2020. The recently identified antiviral, however, is now expected to go into clinical trials a few months earlier in the third quarter of the current year.  

Pfizer had also partnered with German BioNTech in March to develop the Coronavirus vaccine. The two pharmaceutical companies expressed confidence that human trials for their vaccine will start as early as the fourth week of April.

As per Dolsten, if the collaboration with BioNTech is successful in developing an effective vaccine and the regulator issues a timely approval, the two companies will aim at delivering multimillion vaccine doses before the start of 2021. Dolsten said:

“This is much faster than the original prediction of 18 months. It’s almost half the time.”

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Pfizer Climbs 3% In Extended Trading On Thursday

Following Dolsten’s announcement was well-received in the stock market as Pfizer traded around 3% up in after-hours trading on Thursday. This was on top of a 2.3% increase in the regular session. As a comparison, the benchmark S&P 500 index only managed to surge by 1.4% on Thursday.

At £29 per share, Pfizer is still trading around 7% down year to date. Its struggle in the stock market started before the outbreak with an annual loss of a little under 10% in 2019.

Compared to its low of £22.84 per share on March 23rd, however, the American pharmaceutical company has recovered 25% within three weeks.

At the time of writing, Pfizer has a market cap of £157.38 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 12.59.