Amid emerging coronavirus variants, the “direction of the future” will be the development of “potent antivirals” that act directly on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday. Fauci, who participated in the White House COVID-19 briefing, said the nation would need to address therapies similar to the “highly successful drug development program for HIV and hepatitis C.”
To do so, Fauci said it would be necessary to work on identifying vulnerable targets within the SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle.
“This will be the direction of the future,” he said, then added that on Monday the FDA also issued updated guidance for developers of medical products, including those who make vaccines, therapies and tests to address varying concerns.
THE FDA ADDRESSES CORONAVIRUS VARIANTS IN THE UPDATED GUIDE FOR MEDICAL DEVELOPERS
Fauci said that while several therapies have already received emergency use authorization, more work needs to be done, particularly to address advanced disease. Currently approved therapies generally rely on early intervention for the best results.
The briefing was held before a moment of silence led by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for the nearly 500,000 Americans killed by the virus. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the progress the nation is seeing in dropping rates of new cases and hospitalizations was offset by the grim milestone.
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“While the pandemic is moving in the right direction, we still have a lot of work to do,” he said, including getting students back to safe in-person instruction.