What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness borne from infection with SARS-CoV-2 – a positive single-stranded RNA virus. The SARS-CoV-2 virus shares structural similarities to SARS and MERS, which cause acute severe respiratory infections. The incubation period for the development of clinical COVID-19 symptoms from the time of initial SARS-CoV-2 viral infection is highly variable, ranging from 2 to 14 days.

There remains a need for new oral antiviral treatments.

  • Global rapid increase and dominance of multiple new Omicron variants predicted to lead to COVID-19 waves
    • Omicron variants more infectious, spreads to others more easily¹
  • Waning durability associated with vaccines² ³ and natural infection
  • Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have minimal or no activity against certain SARS-CoV-2 variantsvariants⁴⁻⁶
  • New oral antivirals, with improved profiles, are urgently needed due to limitations of current antiviral options

The next steps in our global response to COVID-19.

A doctor in a protective mask is checking the temperature of a patient via an infrared thermometer.

What can we expect?

While vaccines will play an important role in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need treatment options to stay ahead of the virus, and direct-acting antivirals will be an essential complement to vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccination reduces severity and several therapies have been approved or are currently being investigated to treat COVID-19 infection. Even with the approval of vaccines, we anticipate that antivirals will continue to be essential because of the uncertainties around the level of immunity that vaccines will be able to generate and the durability of such immunity.

Stay informed through reputable sources.

1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/index.html. (Accessed 3 Nov 2022)
2. Goldberg Y et al. N Engl J Med. 2022;386:2201-12
3. Menni C et al. Lancet Infect Dis. 2022;22:1002-10
4. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/emergency-preparedness-drugs/coronavirus-covid-19-drugs (Accessed 30 Sep 2022)
5. https://www.idsociety.org/covid-19-real-time-learning-network/therapeutics-and-interventions/monoclonal-antibodies/#PreviouslyEfficacious (Accessed 30Sep2022)
6. Sheward DJ et al. bioRxiv. September 19, 2022. Preprint doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.09.16.508299