NIAID Announces Antiviral Drug Development Awards

General Page Media

May 18, 2022 | NIH Press Release

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded approximately $577 million to establish nine Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Centers for Pathogens of Pandemic Concern. 

The AViDD centers will conduct innovative, multidisciplinary research to develop candidate COVID-19 antivirals, especially those that can be taken in an outpatient setting, as well as antivirals targeting specific viral families with high potential to cause a pandemic in the future. These include paramyxoviruses, bunyaviruses, togaviruses, filoviruses (including Ebola viruses and Marburg virus), picornaviruses (including enteroviruses and other cold-causing viruses), and flaviviruses (including the viruses that cause yellow fever, dengue and Zika). The awards are a part of the Antiviral Program for Pandemics (APP), an intensive research program designed to speed development of therapeutics for COVID-19. APP is led by NIAID, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, all part of NIH; and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of HHS.

“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, M.D. “Decades of prior research on the structure and vulnerabilities of coronaviruses greatly accelerated our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we hope that similar research focused on antivirals will better prepare us for the next pandemic.”

The AViDD centers will conduct research on the early-stage identification and validation of novel viral targets, with an eye to identify small molecules and biotherapeutics that directly block viral targets. As drug candidates are identified and evaluated for properties such as potency and breadth, the most promising will enter late-stage preclinical development. Importantly, the centers can draw on the resources of their industry partners to accelerate research, making use of the companies’ chemical libraries and expertise in moving candidates into the product development pipeline.

The AViDD award recipients are:

AI-Driven Structure-Enabled Antiviral Platform (ASAP)

Principal Investigators: John Chodera, Ph.D.; Benjamin Perry, Ph.D.; Alpha Lee, Ph.D.
Institutes: Sloan Kettering Institute of Cancer Research; Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative; PostEra, Inc.

Award #: U19AI171399

Antiviral Countermeasures Development Center (AC/DC)

Principal Investigators: George Painter, Ph.D.; Richard Plemper, Ph.D.
Institutes: Emory University; Georgia State University

Award #: U19AI171403

Center for Antiviral Medicines & Pandemic Preparedness (CAMPP)

Principal Investigators: Sumit Chanda, Ph.D.; Arnab Chatterjee, Ph.D; Adolfo García-Sastre, Ph.D.
Institutes: Scripps Research Institute; Calibr; Icahn School of Medicine at Mt.Sinai

Award #: U19AI171443

Development of Outpatient Antiviral Cocktails against SARS-CoV-2 and other Potential Pandemic RNA Viruses

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Glenn, M.D., Ph.D.
Institute: Stanford University

Award #: U19AI171421

Metropolitan AntiViral Drug Accelerator

Principal Investigators: David Perlin, Ph.D.; Charles Rice, Ph.D.
Institute: Hackensack University Medical Center; The Rockefeller University

Award #: U19AI171401

Midwest AViDD Center

Principal Investigators: Reuben Harris, Ph.D. Institute: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Fang Li, Ph.D. Institute: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Award #: U19AI171954

QCRG Pandemic Response Program

Principal Investigator: Nevan Krogan, Ph.D.
Institute: University of California, San Francisco

Award #: U19AI171110

Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative – AViDD Center (READDI-AC)

Principal Investigators: Ralph Baric, Ph.D.; Timothy Willson, Ph.D.
Institute: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Award #: U19AI171292

UTMB-Novartis Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

Principal Investigators: Pei-Yong Shi, Ph.D.; Thierry Diagana, Ph.D.
Institutes: The University of Texas Medical Branch; Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, Inc.

Award #: U19AI171413