BEIJING: China’s medical products regulator said on Saturday (Feb 12) it has given conditional approval for Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid, making it the first oral anti-coronavirus pill approved in the country to treat the disease.
The National Medical Products Administration said Paxlovid has obtained conditional approval to treat adults who have mild to moderate COVID-19 and high risk of progressing to a severe condition. Further study on the drug needed to be conducted and submitted to the authority, it said.
Paxlovid has so far been authorised in several countries including the United States and Israel, while the European Union has permitted member states to use it ahead of formal approval as an emergency measure against the Omicron variant.
Unlike COVID-19 vaccines, the drug does not target the ever-evolving spike protein that the coronavirus uses to invade cells.
It is not immediately clear if China is already in talks with Pfizer to procure the pill. Pfizer did not reply to a Reuters request for comment.
Mainland China, where the coronavirus first emerged in late 2019, has not approved any foreign-made vaccines against COVID-19.