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Learning and confirming in publicly funded antiviral trials

Reporting the phase 2 results from the UK AGILE CST-2 study of molnupiravir for SARS-CoV-2 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Saye H Khoo and colleagues present output from a platform trial with public funding that has taken an approach inspired by commercial drug developers. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed our lack of potent oral antivirals and, given the previous two decades of outbreaks of RNA viruses, including SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and Ebola virus, one could argue that we should have been better prepared.