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Fall 2022 - Innovation

NIH Establishes Antiviral Drug Discover Centers

Approximately $577 million will establish nine Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Centers for Pathogens of Pandemic Concern.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), awarded approximately $577 million to establish nine Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Centers for Pathogens of Pandemic Concern. The AViDD award underscores NIAID’s commitment to ongoing research into the cause, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases in the U.S. and worldwide.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for new antiviral drugs, especially those that could easily be taken by patients at home while their symptoms are still mild,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD. Decades worth of research on the structure and vulnerabilities of coronaviruses prior to the COVID-19 pandemic informed and accelerated the response to COVID-19. “We hope that similar research focused on antivirals will better prepare us for the next pandemic.”

The AViDD centers will conduct the groundbreaking, multidisciplinary research needed to develop candidate COVID-19 antivirals with an emphasis on those that can be taken in an outpatient setting, as well as enact a preemptive effort to develop antivirals targeting other viral families with high potential to cause a pandemic in the future. According to NIH, viral families to be studied include parayxoviruses, bunyaviruses, togaviruses, filoviruses (including Ebola viruses and Marburg virus), picornaviruses (including enteroviruses and other viruses that cause the common cold) and flaviviruses (including those that cause yellow fever, dengue and Zika).

Research will include early-stage identification and validation of novel viral targets, as well as identification of small molecules and biotherapeutics that directly block viral targets. After being evaluated for potency and breadth, the most promising drug candidates will move on to late-stage preclinical development. Collaboration among AViDD centers is encouraged. Research will be supported with and accelerated by access to and use of industry partner resources such as chemical libraries and expertise in product development pipeline.


NIH Announces Antiviral Drug Development Awards. National Institutes of Health press release, May 18, 2022. Accessed at

BSTQ Staff
BioSupply Trends Quarterly [BSTQ] is the definitive source for industry trends, news and information for the biopharmaceuticals marketplace. With timely and critical information, each themed issue covers topics ranging from product breakthroughs, industry insights and innovations, up-to-the-minute news on the latest clinical trials, accessibility, and service and safety concerns.