Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Monday he expects the company’s Covid-19 treatment pill to be effective against the omicron variant of the virus causes Covid-19.
“The good news when it comes to our treatment, it was designed with that in mind, it was designed with the fact that most mutations are coming in the spikes,” Bourla told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “So that gives me very high level of confidence that the treatment will not be affected, our oral treatment will not be affected by this virus.”
Pfizer submitted its application earlier this month to the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the pill, Paxlovid, for emergency use. In a clinical trial of people age 18 and over, Pfizer found the pill reduces hospitalization and death by 89% when taken with a widely used HIV drug within three days of the start of symptoms.
While Bourla was optimistic about the efficacy of Paxlovid, he said the impact of omicron on the company’s two-dose vaccine remains to be seen.
“I don’t think that the result will be the vaccines don’t protect,” Bourla said. “I think the result could be, which we don’t know yet, the vaccines protect less.”
Bourla said Pfizer has already begun work to manufacture a new vaccine if necessary. The company made its first DNA template on Friday, he said, the initial step in the development process.
“We have made multiple times clear that we would be able to have the vaccine in less than 100 days,” Bourla said. He noted that the company was able to create vaccines for the beta and delta variants quickly, though they ultimately weren’t used because the original shots remained effective.