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Pfizer begins approval process for COVID-19 antiviral pill in Canada

Click to play video: 'Pfizer to allow other companies to make its COVID-19 treatment pill' Pfizer to allow other companies to make its COVID-19 treatment pill
WATCH: Pfizer to allow other companies to make its COVID-19 treatment pill – Nov 16, 2021

Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday it had started the real-time submission of its application seeking Health Canada’s approval of its oral COVID-19 antiviral drug candidate.

The pill, PF-07321332, is designed to block a key enzyme needed for the coronavirus to multiply.

The move comes after the Canadian government announced on Tuesday that it was in advanced talks with Pfizer and Merck & Co Inc regarding a purchase agreement for their COVID-19 antiviral drugs, as the country attempts to control the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Read more: FDA panel backs Merck’s COVID-19 pill, company touts effectiveness against variants

The country has identified seven people with the new variant as of Nov. 30.

The drugmaker last month submitted its application seeking U.S. authorization of the experimental pill, which was shown to cut the chance of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of severe disease by 89 per cent in a clinical trial.

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