Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

Pfizer says 'good reason' to believe in success of anti-viral drug

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A healthcare worker fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the Newcastle Racecourse vaccination centre, in Newcastle upon Tyne, Britain January 29, 2021. REUTERS/Lee Smith/File Photo

ATHENS, May 14 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) said on Friday he had "very good reason" to believe in the success of an oral COVID-19 antiviral therapy by the drugmaker now in an early-stage U.S. trial.

Albert Bourla said last month he was hopeful that a COVID-19 antiviral drug would be available by the end of the year. Pfizer has said the antiviral candidate showed potent activity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in lab studies.

"Right now we have very good reason to believe that we can be successful," Bourla told an economic forum in Athens via video conference, adding the first results on its efficacy would be available after the summer.

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Reporting by Karolina Tagaris, Angeliki Koutantou; editing by James Mackenzie

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