The American authorities announced Thursday, June 17, their intention to invest $ 3.2 billion to accelerate the research and development of antiviral drugs against Covid-19 and future pathologies.
Medicines to fight against potential variants
This project, called
antiviral program against pandemics, is funded with funds from the $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package, championed by Joe Biden and passed by Congress in March.
Antivirals are an important complement to existing vaccines, especially for individuals with certain diseases that may put them at greater risk, for those potentially less protected by vaccinesWhite House medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci told reporters.
These antiviral drugs could also play a role in the face of new variants against which vaccines currently in circulation offer less protection, he added.
Find antivirals for other families of viruses that can cause a pandemic
The program will accelerate clinical trials for antiviral pills at different stages of their development, such as Molnupiravir from the Merck laboratory and drugs from Pfizer and Atea-Roche.
These antivirals should be taken by patients very soon after confirmation of infection to prevent the disease from reaching its most severe stage, such as oseltamivir for the flu.
These 3.2 billion will also be used to finance the search for new antivirals, not only against SARS-CoV-2 or coronaviruses in general, but also against other families of viruses seen as presenting a potential pandemic threat.