The US government is investing more than 3 billion US dollars to accelerate the development and manufacturing of antiviral medicines, according to government authorities.
The plan, called the Antiviral Program for Pandemics, will respond to the urgent need for antivirals to treat COVID-19 by spurring the availability of medicines to prevent serious illness and save lives, according to a statement of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
It also will build sustainable platforms for developing antivirals for other viruses with pandemic potential, according to the HHS.
The plan provides more than 300 million US dollars for research and lab support, nearly 1 billion US dollars for preclinical and clinical evaluation, and nearly 700 million US dollars for development and manufacturing through the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, according to the HHS.
“New antivirals that prevent serious COVID-19 illness and death, especially oral drugs that could be taken at home early in the course of disease, would be powerful tools for battling the pandemic and saving lives,” said NIAID Director Anthony Fauci.