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.