Pfizer Inc reported its investigational novel COVID-19 oral antiviral candidate Paxlovid significantly reduced hospitalization and death in nonhospitalized adult patients with COVID-19 at high risk of progressing to severe illness.

The scheduled interim analysis showed an 89% reduction in risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization or death from any cause compared to placebo in patients treated within three days of symptom onset (primary endpoint). According to results, 0.8% of patients who received Paxlovid were hospitalized through Day 28 following randomization (3/389 hospitalized with no deaths), compared to 7.0% of patients who received placebo and were hospitalized or died (27/385 hospitalized with 7 subsequent deaths).

The statistical significance of these results was high (p<0.0001). Similar reductions in COVID-19-related hospitalization or death were observed in patients treated within five days of symptom onset, according to Pfizer. Results showed 1.0% of patients who received Paxlovid were hospitalized through Day 28 following randomization (6/607 hospitalized, with no deaths), compared to 6.7% of patients who received a placebo (41/612 hospitalized with 10 subsequent deaths), with high statistical significance (p<0.0001).

In the overall study population through Day 28, no deaths were reported in patients who received Paxlovid as compared to 10 (1.6%) deaths in patients who received placebo.

Pfizer ended enrollment into the study due to the overwhelming efficacy demonstrated in these results and plans to submit the data as part of its ongoing rolling submission to the US FDA for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) as soon as possible, the company said.

“Today’s news is a real game-changer in the global efforts to halt the devastation of this pandemic. These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved or authorized by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients’ lives, reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer. “Given the continued global impact of COVID-19, we have remained laser-focused on the science and fulfilling our responsibility to help healthcare systems and institutions around the world while ensuring equitable and broad access to people everywhere.”