Catalyzing discovery and early development of antiviral medicines for the next pandemic


Next time a virulent disease breaks out all over the world, …


…we will need medications that can help your body fight off the virus.


To be prepared, we need to start the discovery process now.

Pandemic Antiviral Discovery (PAD) is a global philanthropic initiative aimed at catalyzing the discovery and early development of antiviral medicines in preparation for future pandemics.





Call Closed

The ‘PAD Request for Proposals’ focused on Antivirals for Pandemic Influenza closed on 14 December 2022.
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Antivirals for Pandemic Influenza – Request for proposals 2022/2023

The focus of this PAD Request for Proposals (RfP) is novel antivirals for pandemic influenza. Pandemic influenza remains is a substantial threat to public health. There have been six major influenza epidemics with the 1918 flu pandemic being the most severe, leading to the deaths of 50–100 million people worldwide. There is a need for cheap and safe antiviral compounds that target viral/host proteins and pathways necessary for replication and pathogenesis that are clearly differentiated from currently marketed drugs for seasonal influenza.
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Henipavirus Call Closed

The open ‘PAD Request for Proposals’ focused on Henipavirus has closed on May 5th, 2022.

99 proposals have been submitted from researchers from 91 different institutions/organizations from 28 countries spanning 6 continents.
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Henipavirus – Request for proposals 2022

The focus of this PAD Request for Proposals (RfP) is henipavirus, a subfamily of paramyxovirus that includes Nipah virus—a pathogen with an estimated fatality rate of 40% to 75%. Researchers from around the world are encouraged to submit proposals.
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PAD is a global initiative launched by The Novo Nordisk Foundation, Open Philanthropy, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to catalyze discovery and early development of antiviral drug candidates to help ensure the world is better prepared for future pandemics.

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2019, governments, public research institutions, private companies and philanthropies came together to develop effective diagnostics and vaccines at record speed. A highly efficacious vaccine was authorized for emergency use in 11 months. While innovations in vaccine R&D saved—and continue to save—lives around the world, antiviral treatments in the form of tablets or pills that can treat infected individuals at home, reduce the risk of hospitalization and death, and slow the spread of the virus have taken significantly longer to bring to market. 

If we don’t start preparing now, we risk finding ourselves in the same situation when the next pandemic strikes. With this in mind, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Open Philanthropy, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched PAD to help catalyze the preparation of novel antiviral treatments for potential future pandemics. 

To enable an effective response, these medicines need to be available to all people, regardless of where they live. That’s why equitable access is a core PAD principle.

PAD supports explorative, preclinical and phase I clinical research across the globe to accelerate development of antiviral compounds for coronaviruses, orthomyxoviruses and paramyxoviruses. The primary focus will be on developing small molecules for oral delivery. 

PAD funding partners will use a variety of models, including direct grants and Requests for Proposals (RFPs), within defined research topics. RFPs will be posted on our website, and we invite researchers from around the world to submit proposals in these open calls.

Vaccines and antivirals are critically important tools in pandemic and epidemic preparedness. A vaccine greatly reduces the risk that a virus will infect your body and cause disease, while antivirals work to treat a virus that has already entered your body and to inhibit the spread. However, while there are other existing and new initiatives working in the vaccine space where we’ve seen significant progress, activities and innovation in antiviral research have historically been underprioritized. 

In particular, we need safe and cheap antivirals that can be administered as pills or tablets at home and help keep infected people out of hospitals.  By focusing on small-molecule drugs that can be delivered orally and are cheaper and easier for patients to access than biologics, these efforts aim to help ensure the world is prepared to quickly develop and equitably deploy effective, accessible antiviral treatments next time a pandemic threat emerges.

Yes, we welcome collaboration with other organizations who share our commitment to equitable access and innovative antiviral drug discovery.

Requests for proposals and areas of interest will be announced on the PAD website, where there will also be an option to sign-up for news and announcements from PAD. If you need to get in contact with PAD, please use the contact form here.

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