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PAD – Antivirals for Pandemic Influenza – Request For Proposals 2022/2023

Call opens
6 October 2022
Call closes
14 December 2022 2:00pm (CET)
Announcement of results
Phase 1 results expected by the end of May 2023
Application guidelines


This RfP will support research designed to develop novel small-molecule antivirals targeting pandemic influenza. 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. Attributes that define differentiation include improved clinical efficacy over standard of care, shorter duration of therapy, reduced dosing frequency, improved safety, lower cost of goods, higher barrier to resistance and/or novel targets/mechanism of action.

Proposals should be consistent with at least one of these 4 areas:

  1. Direct acting antivirals with data demonstrating clear differentiation from currently marketed influenza antiviral products
  2. Host targeted therapies with data demonstrating clear benefit over currently marketed influenza virus therapeutics
  3. Compounds that target multiple pathways or mechanisms to reduce the likelihood of resistance emergence
  4. Compounds demonstrating activity against drug resistant influenza variants

Special consideration will be given to therapeutic modalities that are suitable for deployment in low resource settings.

Projects that fall outside the 4 defined areas and projects on vaccines, antibody and nanobody therapy, diagnostics, clinical trials (Phase II, III, IV), formulation development, and epidemiology are excluded from the RFP and will not be considered for funding.

About the grant


Up to USD 10 million per grant




For grant inquiries
Fiona Goldizen
Grant Manager
[email protected]

Pandemic Antiviral Discovery (PAD) is a global philanthropic initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Open Philanthropy in the US, and the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF) in Denmark.

The aspiration of PAD is to catalyze the discovery and early development of antiviral medicines in preparation for future outbreaks of infectious diseases with pandemic potential. With equitable access as a core principle of the initiative, the founding partners are committed to ensuring that discoveries and innovations supported by PAD are accessible for people in low- and middle-income countries. By focusing on small molecules for oral delivery, these efforts can help ensure the world is prepared to quickly develop and deploy effective, accessible antiviral drugs next time the world faces a pandemic threat.

Frequently asked questions about the PAD initiative: Frequently Asked Questions: PAD Initiative – Pandemic Antiviral Discovery


If the eligibility criteria listed below are not adhered to in the submitted proposal, it will receive an administrative rejection

  • PAD seeks to actively engage researchers from all over the world as part of the drug discovery process, but applicants must be established investigators with their own line of research and must be employed for the duration of the project at the administrating institution registered in the proposal.
  • The administrating institution/organization must be able to accept and manage the potential grant. Projects can be anchored at any type of research organization, including academia, not-for profit and commercial organizations.
  • The scope of the project must be within the scientific scope of this RfP and support the PAD aspirations.
  • An applicant (i.e., the principal investigator (PI) responsible for the project and submitting the proposal) may submit only one proposal to this specific RfP. Different PI’s can be anchored at the same institution/organization. Co-applicants can be a part of more than one proposal to this RfP, and an applicant on one proposal can be a co-applicant or collaborator on other proposals


A total of up to USD 25 million is expected to be allocated to proposals submitted to this RfP, but this amount is not fixed and may be updated depending on the quantity and quality of the proposals. The number of proposals supported will depend on the quality and expected budget. Exploratory projects should not exceed a budget of approximately USD 2 million and later-stage validation projects should not exceed a budget of approximately USD 10 million.

It is expected that the projects applied for will be between 1 and 3 years in duration.

Application process

The application and evaluation process consists of two phases. The entire process from first proposal to potential grant is outlined in the ‘Information and guidelines for applicants – PAD – Antivirals for Pandemic Influenza – Request for proposals 2022/2023.’ Please read these guidelines carefully before initiating the application process.

The application must be completed in English and submitted using the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s online application and grant management system, NORMA, which can be accessed by clicking on the ‘Apply’ button.


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