NIAID is awarding more than $12 million to develop antiviral therapies

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, recently awarded more than $12 million to three institutions to develop antiviral therapies to treat illnesses caused by viruses that could cause a pandemic. NIAID may award approximately $61.5 million over five years if all contract options are exercised. The new product development contracts are part of the Antiviral Program for Epidemics (APP), which aims to accelerate the discovery, development, and manufacture of antiviral drugs.

Antivirals are treatments that fight viral infections by directly working against the virus. Other types of therapies, not the focus of this program, harness the body’s immune system to fight infection. The new contracts will support the development of promising antiviral candidates from late-stage preclinical studies through novel investigational activities to enable drug application and clinical testing.

Along with new product development contracts, NIAID is already supporting nine Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) centers for pathogens of pandemic concern. AViDD Centers conducts research on early-stage identification and validation of novel viral targets and identification and characterization of early-stage antiviral drug candidates.

New product development contracts include:

Optimization of broad-spectrum virus-targeting filovirus inhibitors glycoprotein
Principal Investigator: Terry Bowlin, Ph.D.
Institute: Microbiotix, Inc., Worcester, Massachusetts
Basic Funding Amount: $2,069,416
NIAID contract: 75N93023C00001

Development of a novel 2-pyrimidone (SRI-42718) as a potent inhibitor of chikungunya virus infection and disease.
Principal Investigator: Daniel Streblow, Ph.D.
Institution: Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
Basic Funding Amount: $4,696,452
NIAID Contract: 75N93023C00002

Development of an available oral antiviral drug for yellow fever
Principal investigator: Jinhong Chang, MD, Ph.D.
Institute: Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Basic Funding Amount: $5,493,876
NIAID Contract: 75N93023C00003

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