USA: 52-Million-Dollar Funding Researchers to Build New Groundbreaking Drug Development Center
Researchers at the Emory University and Georgia State University in the USA will be establishing a new drug development center aimed at preventing the next pandemic. With a federal funding of 52 million dollars, the new center will be led and co-founded by researchers who have successfully collaborated on antiviral drugs in the past.
Atlanta/USA – With 52 million dollars in federal funding, researchers at Emory University and Georgia State University will establish a groundbreaking new drug development center aimed at preventing the next pandemic.
The Antiviral Countermeasures Development Center (AC/DC) is one of nine Antiviral Drug Discovery (Avidd) Centers around the country being funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Niaid). The new center at Emory and Georgia State is led and co-founded by researchers with a history of collaborating on successful antiviral drugs, including molnupiravir, which was one of the world’s first antiviral pills approved for use against Sars-Cov-2.
The AC/DC will be directed by George Painter, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at Emory University School of Medicine, CEO of the Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (Drive), and executive director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, and Richard Plemper, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Translational Antiviral Research at Georgia State.
The National Institutes of Health announced the funding of the AC/DC and eight other Avidd centers on May 18, 2022, noting their mission will be to build a pipeline of antiviral drugs targeting Sars-Cov-2 and other viruses with the potential to cause the next pandemic. The Emory/Georgia State center has received 52 million dollars to fund the effort.
“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,” NIH said in a statement. “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 AC/DC will be based in Atlanta — a worldwide medical research hub and home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and have affiliate research partners, including experts in viral pathogens and drug development, across the country and in the Baltic nation of Estonia.
“At the core of this center stands an alliance between Emory and Georgia State,” says Plemper. “We have identified a group of foremost subject experts on viral pathogens and pioneers in new, advanced methodology. This formidable group is a major strength of the center. Drug development literally takes a village, and what we have brought together are leaders in this village who can move things forward.”
“Establishing world-class infrastructures and collaborations to advance the development of therapeutics that address viral diseases of global concern needs to remain a top priority,” says Painter. “Utilizing the expertise and resources of researchers at both Georgia State and Emory will help us advance this important work while further cementing Atlanta as the public health capital of the world.”