Pfizer Inc and Clear Creek Bio Inc on Tuesday announced a collaboration to identify a potential drug candidate and develop a new class of oral treatment against COVID-19, as Pfizer seeks to expand its anti-infective pipeline.

Charlotte Allerton, Pfizer's chief scientific officer, said COVID-19 has "the potential to remain a global health concern for years to come".

Pfizer already has a COVID antiviral pill Paxlovid, which the drugmaker expects to generate about $22 billion in revenue this year.

Pfizer has been making various deals to boost its portfolio. This year, it has announced acquisitions of Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co and Global Blood Therapeutics for $11.6 billion and $5.4 billion, respectively, and also launched a company with Roivant Sciences focused on an experimental bowel disease treatment.

Under the agreement with Clear Creek Bio, the pharmaceutical giant will pay an undisclosed amount upfront as well as make additional milestone payments along with royalties on future product sales.

(Reporting by Khushi Mandowara in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)