American authorities announced Thursday their intention to invest $ 3.2 billion to accelerate research and development of antiviral drugs against Covid-19 and future pathologies.
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This project, dubbed the “
antiviral program against pandemics
”, is financed with funds from the 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus plan, championed by Joe Biden and adopted 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 vaccines,
" explained to journalists Dr Anthony Fauci, medical adviser of the White House.
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.
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.
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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.