Officials on Thursday announced that the Biden Administration plans to invest more than $3.2 billion in developing antiviral medicines to treat COVID-19 and other viruses with pandemic potential, reported CNBC.
The new program, dubbed Antiviral Program for Pandemics – is a "whole-of-government effort" that will speed up clinical trials of promising drug candidates and develop next-generation treatments for COVID-19 and other viruses that could cause future pandemics," said White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci during a news conference.
The pills for COVID-19, which would be used to minimize symptoms after infection, are in development and could begin arriving by the end of 2021, pending the completion of trials.
The funding will speed those clinical trials and provide additional support to private sector research, development, and manufacturing.
Last week, officials with the Department of Health and Human Services announced a .2 billion deal to purchase 1.7 million doses of molnupiravir from Merck & Co Inc (NYSE: MRK) if the drug gets an FDA approval or emergency use nod.
In April, Pfizer Inc's (NYSE: PFE) CEO Albert Bourla said COVID-19 antiviral drug would be available by the end of 2021.
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