United States to unveil pills to minimise symptoms of Covid-19

United States to unveil pills to minimise symptoms of Covid-19
Dr Anthony Fauci is to reveal details of the Covid-19 antiviral pills (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Photo via AP)

The United States is devoting more than three billion US dollars (£2 billion) to advance development of antiviral pills for Covid-19.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, announced the investment during a White House briefing as part of a new “antiviral program for pandemics” to develop drugs to address symptoms caused by potentially dangerous viruses like the coronavirus.

The pills for Covid-19, which would be used to minimise symptoms after infection, are in development and could begin arriving by year’s end, pending the completion of clinical trials.

The funding will speed those clinical trials and provide additional support private sector research, development and manufacturing.

Fauci said the new programme would invest in “accelerating things that are already in progress” for Covid-19, but also work to innovate new therapies for other viruses.

“There are few treatments that exist for many of the viruses that have pandemic potential,” said Fauci.

But he added, “vaccines clearly remain the centrepiece of our arsenal”.

News of the administration’s plans for the pill was first reported on Thursday by The New York Times newspaper.

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