Open Philanthropy recommended a gift of $200,000 to Professor Kent Tseng of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) to support a test of the utility of a locked nucleic acid (LNA) as an antiviral drug for influenza A virus. Dr. Tseng has access to BSL3-enhanced and BSL4 laboratories, and will test the drug against the highly pathogenic pandemic H5N1 virus in several animal species. R&D done by Jeffrey Glenn’s group predicts that the LNA will inhibit the growth of all influenza A viruses, including H5N1 strains.
This gift was funded via Open Philanthropy’s request for proposals through the Pandemic Antiviral Discovery Initiative. It falls within Open Philanthropy’s focus area of scientific research, specifically within its interest in advancing human health and wellbeing.