Pfizer (PFE  ) announced Tuesday that it has submitted its application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization (EUA) of its COVID-19 treatment pill, which reduces hospitalization and death by 89% when administered with a common HIV drug.

If authorized by the federal drug regulatory, the pill has the potential to help end the pandemic by allowing high-risk patients infected by the virus to take an oral antiviral drug at home instead of in the hospital, which is required for current intravenously administered treatments like Gilead Sciences' (GILD  ) remdesivir.

The pill, called PAXLOVID, works by blocking the enzyme activity the virus needs to replicate inside the body post infection. When taken in combination with a low dose of ritonavir, an HIV drug that slows down the body's metabolism, PAXLOVID can remain active in the patient's body at a higher concentration for a longer period of time.

Pfizer concluded in a late-stage clinical trial of adult participant with an increased risk of developing severe COVID infection, the combination of both pills reduced hospitalization and death by 89% when taken within three days of symptom onset.

"With more than 5 million deaths and countless lives impacted by this devastating disease globally, there is an urgent need for life-saving treatment options," said CEO Albert Bourla in a press statement. "The overwhelming efficacy achieved in our recent clinical study of PAXLOVID, and its potential to help save ives and keep people out of the hospital is authorized, underscores the critical role that oral antiviral therapies could play in the battle against COVID-19."

"We are moving as quickly as possible in our effort to get this potential treatment into the hands of patients, and we look forward to working with the U.S. FDA on its review of our application, along with other regulatory agencies around the world," he added.

If approved, Pfizer recommends PAXLOVID to be administered in two 150 mg doses alongside one 100 mg dose of ritonavir twice daily.

In addition to Pfizer's treatment, Merck (MRK  ) has also developed an antiviral pill, molnupiravir, in partnership with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. The pair concluded from an interim analysis that their pill reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by 50% in adults with mild to moderate COVID infection. Merck submitted its EUA application to the FDA last month.