AP Photo WASHINGTON: The United States is taking another medical moonshot to beat the coronavirus pandemic, plowing in more than $3 billion to develop, among other therapies, anti-viral pills to treat Covid-19 infections, potentially by the end of this year. The new program, coming on top of the $18 billion success story that resulted in five effective vaccines in record time, will create platforms that will initially target coronaviruses, and then could be expanded to other viruses with pandemic potential – helping to better prepare the nation for future viral threats, the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced on Thursday. The administration had already kicked off the program by announcing that it would procure more than 1.5 million regimens of a Merck investigational antiviral treatment, should it receive emergency use authorization. The DHHS revealed that 19 therapeutic agents have already been prioritized for testing in rigorous clinical trials for outpatients and inpatients with Covid-19, and having additional FDA-authorized antiviral medicines available within a year would be a major breakthrough in ongoing efforts to combat Covid-19 and protect the public. The new funding appears in part to be a course correction after the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed… Read full this story
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