Our team at the Advanced Photon Source have helped Pfizer create a COVID-19 treatment. The new drug candidate, Paxlovid, significantly reduced hospitalization and death in adult patients, according to Pfizer, and will be submitted for an emergency use authorization in the United States. Work to determine the structure of the antiviral candidate was done at the Industrial Macromolecular Crystallography Association Collaborative Access Team (IMCA-CAT) beamline at the APS, operated by the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute (HWI) on behalf of a collaboration of pharmaceutical companies, of which Pfizer is a member.

As a member of IMCA-CAT, Pfizer routinely conducts drug development experiments at the APS, and the process of narrowing down and zeroing in on this drug candidate was performed over many months, according to Lisa Keefe, executive director of IMCA-CAT and vice president for advancing therapeutics and principal scientist at Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute. IMCA-CAT, she said, “delivers quality results in a timely manner, much faster than the home laboratories of the companies themselves can do”. The results of the first trials were recently published in Science.

We are proud of our team in Chicago, and the fantastic work done by Pfizer to fight the current pandemic.