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The United States will invest at least $3 billion to develop antiviral pills for COVID-19.

The Biden administration will spend at least $3 billion on research and manufacture of antiviral medicines to treat COVID-19.

The Biden administration will spend at least $3 billion on research and manufacture of antiviral medicines to treat COVID-19.

In a press release on June 17, 2021, the Biden administration announced that they would be spending more than $3 billion in investment to speed up the discovery, development, and manufacturing of antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Antiviral Program for Pandemics was developed within the collaboration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

The Antiviral Program for Pandemics will respond to the urgent need for antivirals to treat COVID-19 by speeding up the supply of medicines to prevent serious illness and save lives. It will also establish long-term platforms for discovering and developing antivirals for other pandemic-like viruses, allowing the country to better prepare for future viral threats.

Those who are immunosuppressed or who have not been vaccinated may be susceptible to the virus, said Dr. David Kessler, Chief Science Officer for the Biden's administration COVID-19 response.

He added, "An easily administered oral antiviral drug would be an important part of our therapeutic arsenal that would complement the great success of our vaccine efforts. Our administration is going to harness the power of American ingenuity to spur the creation and development of these drugs that can save lives both here in the United States and around the world."

Through NIAID and BARDA, more than $300 million would be spent on research and lab assistance, almost $1 billion on preclinical and clinical evaluation, and about $700 million on development and manufacture. It also allocates up to $1.2 billion to help create collaborative drug discovery groups called Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Centers for Pathogens of Pandemic Concern.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the $3.2 billion investment for antiviral development will be allocated from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package signed by President Biden in March.

"New antivirals that prevent serious COVID-19 illness and death, especially oral drugs that could be taken at home early in the course of disease, would be powerful tools for battling the pandemic and saving lives," said Dr. Anthony Fauci reports WSJ.

According to CNBC, the administration made a separate announcement that the National Institutes of Health would "evaluate, prioritize and advance" antiviral candidates to phase two clinical trials and "guide candidates along development paths."

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