Accelerating Drug Development: Antiviral Therapies for Emerging Viruses as a Model

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2017 Jan 6;57:155-169. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010716-104533. Epub 2016 Jul 22.


Drug discovery and development is a lengthy and expensive process. Although no one, simple, single solution can significantly accelerate this process, steps can be taken to avoid unnecessary delays. Using the development of antiviral therapies as a model, we describe options for acceleration that cover target selection, assay development and high-throughput screening, hit confirmation, lead identification and development, animal model evaluations, toxicity studies, regulatory issues, and the general drug discovery and development infrastructure. Together, these steps could result in accelerated timelines for bringing antiviral therapies to market so they can treat emerging infections and reduce human suffering.

Keywords: antivirals; drug discovery; emerging infections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical / methods
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical / trends
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Drug Delivery Systems / trends*
  • Drug Discovery / methods
  • Drug Discovery / trends*
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays / methods
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays / trends
  • Humans
  • Virus Diseases / drug therapy
  • Virus Diseases / pathology
  • Viruses / drug effects*
  • Viruses / growth & development


  • Antiviral Agents