US to Invest $3 Billion on Antiviral Drugs for COVID-19
The United States is spending $3.2 billion to develop drugs to fight COVID-19 and other viruses that could turn into pandemics.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is the nation's top infectious disease expert. He announced the investment during a Thursday briefing at the White House. The investment is part of a new "antiviral program for pandemics" that will develop drugs to treat diseases caused by dangerous viruses like the coronavirus.
The investment will speed up human trials of several promising drugs to treat COVID-19. Some are already under development and could be ready by year's end. The money will also provide support for research, development and manufacturing.
Fauci said the new program would invest in "accelerating things that are already in progress" for COVID-19. He added it will also support new treatments for other viruses.
"There are few treatments that exist for many of the viruses that have pandemic potential," said Fauci.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already approved one antiviral drug, remdesivir, against COVID-19. But the World Health Organization recommended against its use in COVID-19 patients. The drug was originally developed for the Ebola virus.
The health agency has also permitted emergency use of three antibody treatments to help the body fight the virus.
All the currently available treatments must be performed at hospitals or medical centers. They have mostly been shown to help patients avoid hospitalization or shorten their recovery time by several days.
Health experts, including Fauci, have been calling for the development of a simple drug that patients could take themselves. Several companies, including Merck, Pfizer, and Roche, are now testing such a treatment.
News of the Biden administration's plans for the "antiviral program for pandemics" was first reported by The New York Times.
The news organization said Fauci's support for the program came from his own experience fighting AIDS some thirty years ago. In the 1990s, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, under Fauci, conducted research that led to some of the first antiviral drugs for H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.
I'm Dan Friedell.
1. turn into (使)变成；(使)成为；
What began as a minor scuffle turned into a full-scale riot.
2. speed up 加快(…的)速度；
I had already taken steps to sp eed up a solution to the problem.
3. in progress 正在进行中；
The game was already in progress when we took our seats.
4. call for 要求；呼吁；
Officials used loud hailers to call for calm.
安东尼·福奇博士是美国顶级传染病专家 。他在周四的白宫简报会上宣布了这项投资计划 。这项投资是一项新的“大流行病抗病毒项目”的一部分，该项目将开发药物以治疗由冠状病毒等危险病毒引起的疾病 。
这项投资将加速几种治疗新冠肺炎的有前景药物的人体试验 。有些药物已经在开发中，可能在年底前就可以完成 。这笔资金还将为研发和生产提供支持 。
福奇表示，新项目将投资于“加速已处于开发阶段的治疗新冠肺炎的项目” 。他还表示，该项目还将支持其他病毒的新疗法 。
美国食品和药物管理局已批准使用抗病毒药物瑞德西韦对抗新冠肺炎 。但世界卫生组织不建议将其用于新冠肺炎患者 。这种药物最初是为埃博拉病毒开发的 。
目前所有可用疗法都必须在医院或医疗中心进行 。这些疗法大多被证明可以帮助患者避免住院或将康复时间缩短几天 。
包括福奇在内的健康专家一直呼吁开发一种患者可自行服用的简单药物 。包括默克、辉瑞和罗氏在内的几家公司正在测试这种治疗方法 。
该新闻机构表示，福奇对这个项目的支持来自他30年前抗击艾滋病的自身经验 。上世纪90年代，福奇领导的美国国家过敏和传染病研究所进行研究，从而推动了最早一批抗艾滋病病毒药物的诞生 。