Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


The race for antiviral drugs to beat COVID — and the next pandemic

Cartoon showing scientists in a bare storeroom containing just a few scattered bottles of antiviral drugs.

Illustration by David Parkins

Listen to an audio version of this story

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Nature 592, 340-343 (2021)



  1. Knobler, S. et al. (eds) Learning from SARS: Preparing for the Next Disease Outbreak: Workshop Summary (National Academies Press, 2004).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Sheahan, T. P. et al. Sci. Transl. Med. 9, eaal3653 (2017).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Beigel, J. H. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 383, 1813–1826 (2020).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. WHO Solidarity Trial Consortium N. Engl. J. Med. 384, 497–511 (2021).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Sheahan, T. P. et al. Sci. Transl. Med. 12, eabb5883 (2020).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Sender, R. et al. Preprint at medRxiv (2020).

  7. Jackman, J. A. et al. Nature Mater. 17, 971–977 (2018).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Hoffman, R. L. et al. J. Med. Chem. 63, 12725–12747 (2020).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Boras, B. et al. Preprint at bioRxiv (2021).

Download references


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing


Quick links