There appears to be a rise in COVID-19 illnesses, driven by Omicron subvariants, which may be better able to evade immunity from vaccines and previous infections and lower public health measures by the public such as masking and social distancing.

With increasing concerns about COVID-19 reinfection, Pfizer and the National Institutes of Health are discussing potential studies regarding a longer treatment period with the antiviral medication Paxlovid.

Reportedly, Pfizer is holding the company’s COVID-19 antiviral therapy Paxlovid under tight control. This is a disappointment to numerous investigators who want to test the antiviral combination therapy with other drugs in case the virus develops resistance to the combo.

Rising COVID-19 cases are driving up the use of therapeutics, with Pfizer Inc.’s oral antiviral treatment Paxlovid seeing a 315 percent jump over the past four weeks, U.S. health officials said on May 17.

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been increased interest in developing a universal antiviral that would stop a pandemic in its tracks.

The United States will share technologies used to make COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization and is working to expand rapid testing and antiviral treatments for hard-to-reach populations, President Joe Biden said on May 12.

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review recommended two out of three outpatient treatments for COVID-19 in the market, singling out molnupiravir as having inadequate evidence to support claims that it is better than symptomatic care.

As Paxlovid has become more widely used, some patients have reported that COVID-19 symptoms recurred after completing treatment and experiencing improvement.

Although 2020 was a tough year for the biopharma industry — and most other industries as well — it appeared to rebound significantly in mid-2021. However, biotech stocks are generally getting hammered during 2022, although to be fair, the entire stock market is down.

Additional reports of patients with long COVID who were helped by Pfizer Inc.’s oral antiviral treatment Paxlovid offer fresh impetus for conducting clinical trials to test the medicine for the debilitating condition, U.S. researchers said on May 5.