We have known this at least since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: Viruses are an unpredictable threat to global health, the economy and society. According to the WHO, after just over a year of the pandemic, more than three million people have died worldwide. The burdens caused by long-term consequences for those who are infected, by social tensions, and by the economic costs of the required countermeasures are tremendous. It is obvious: The enormous acceleration of new developments, which was crucial for vaccines in this pandemic, has not yet been achieved for antiviral agents. More than a year since the pandemic began, there is a lack of effective therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2, despite immense national and international efforts. Highly innovative ideas for drug development are needed now to ensure that antivirals are available more quickly in the future. We therefore cordially and urgently invite you to this future-relevant Challenge: It can help turn your ideas into a breakthrough innovation.
We are looking for innovative solutions to combat viral infections. The aim of the Challenge will be to prove that the developed systematic approach can be used to provide antivirals within a short period of time. At the end of the Challenge, this will be demonstrated in a proof-of-concept adapted to the stage of development. So: demonstrate how quickly you can innovate. Solutions can include, for example, new approaches to broad-spectrum antivirals, but also platform technologies for developing antiviral agents.