Font Size




Menu Style

Back to AVG Homepage

10 years of the isirv-AVG                                 
The Antiviral Group was established in 2011 following the merger of the Neuraminidase Inhibitor Susceptibility Network (NISN) with the International Society for Influenza and Other Respiratory Virus Diseases (isirv). This initiative provided on the one hand a more formal governance structure within which the Antiviral Group could broaden and enhance the activities of the former NISN group, and on the other hand established the expanded Society on a firmer financial basis for its subsequent development as a more active, broadly based society.

The specific objectives of the isirv Antiviral Group (isirv-AVG) are to promote understanding of the clinical use of antivirals against respiratory viruses; provide up-to-date information on the emergence of antiviral resistance; and communicate expert commentary on preclinical and clinical development of potential new antivirals. To this end, the Group has organised a series of (annual) AVG conferences on specific topics in different geographical locations, other smaller specialist meetings and workshops, and participated in other isirv events. To facilitate surveillance and characterisation of influenza viruses resistant to neuraminidase inhibitors, the Group provided for several years (2011-2018) a panel of resistant and sensitive viruses as standards for antiviral susceptibility assays.

Most recently, in response to the pandemic, the AVG organised its first virtual conference on Therapeutics for COVID-19 in October 2020, and to mark the 10th anniversary of the AVG and 15th anniversary of isirv, the Group is co-organising a joint isirv-WHO virtual conference in October 2021.   

The content of meetings and workshops have been communicated more widely by publishing reports and displaying slide presentations and posters on the AVG website. As a component of its educational outreach the AVG has provided Travel Grants to assist delegates from LMICs to attend meetings and workshops.


Meetings/workshops (2011-2021)

The inaugural meeting on Influenza Antivirals: Efficacy and Resistance, in Rio de Janeiro on 8-10 November 2011, was co-organised with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) with a focus on surveillance and assays for the detection and characterisation of resistance in relation to antiviral use in Latin America, in the aftermath of the 2009 pandemic. Proceedings were published as a special issue of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.

The 2nd isirv-AVG conference on Severe Influenza: Burden, Pathogenesis and Management, held in Hanoi on 29-31 October 2012, was co-organised with The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), reflecting the persistent threat of H5N1 and the divergent evolution of the viruses, particularly in South-East Asia. Proceedings were published as a special issue of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.

A training workshop on Sequence Analysis and Detection of Antiviral Resistance was co-organised with GISAID, with support from WHO, on 7 September 2013 in Cape Town during the Options for Control of Influenza VIII conference. The participants were mainly from WHO-designated laboratories in African and other low resource countries.

A small discussion meeting on Clinical Trial Endpoints for Studies of Antivirals in Hospitalised and At-Risk Patients was held on 8 September 2013 in Cape Town also during the Options for the Control of Influenza VIII conference.

The 3rd isirv-AVG conference on Influenza and Other Respiratory Virus Infections: Advances in Clinical Management, held in Tokyo on 4-6 June 2014, was co-organised with Keiyu Hospital, Yokohama. The location reflected the extensive experience in Japan of the effective use of antivirals in combatting seasonal and pandemic influenza, and the development of novel antiviral agents. An overview was published in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.

A workshop on Next Generation Sequencing of Viruses held in Paris on 20-21 May 2015 was co-organised with the Pasteur Institute.

The 4th isirv-AVG conference on Novel Antiviral Therapies for Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses: Bench to Bedsideco-organised with the University of Texas in Austin on 2-4 June 2015, focussed on the discovery and development of inhibitors of novel respiratory virus targets and key host cell factors. A report was published in Antiviral Research.

A two-day training workshop on Genetic Analyses of Influenza Viruses, held in Hong Kong on 21-22 November 2015, was co-organised with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, GISAID and WHO.

A training workshop on Genetic Analyses of Influenza Viruses, held in Chicago on 29 August 2016 following Options X, was co-organised with Northwestern University, GISAID and WHO.

The 5th isirv-AVG conference on Prevention and Treatment of Respiratory Viral Infectionsheld in Shanghai on 14-16 June 2017, was co-organised with the Shanghai Public Health Center and Fudan University, Shanghai, China. A report was published in Antiviral Research.

A symposium Influenza 2018: Centenary of the 1918 Pandemic was held in London on 24-26 June 2018 to mark the centenary of the pandemic and consider to what extent, with intervening medical scientific advances, the world is now better placed to combat such a devastating pandemic. It was co-organised with The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK and WHO.

The 6th isirv-AVG conference on Advances in Respiratory Virus Therapeutics, held in Washington DC on 13-15 November 2018, was co-organised with the NIAID, FDA and BARDA. The programme addressed both pre-clinical advances and the latest data from clinical trials, including a focus on the design of clinical trials in relation to regulatory considerations in bringing therapeutics to clinical practice. A report was published in Antiviral Research.

A small specialist isirv-AVG meeting on Polymerase Inhibitor Resistance, held in Atlanta on 7-8 August 2019, included public health, academic and company representatives who were conducting studies on the new antivirals targeting the influenza RNA polymerase. The purpose was to enable the AVG to be more proactive in contributing to development of expert consensus on the role of the new anti-polymerase inhibitors and the monitoring of antiviral resistance.

A special virtual conference on Therapeutics for COVID-19 was held on 6-8 October 2020. The comprehensive 3-day programme covered the virology and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2, the clinical spectrum of COVID-19 and the preclinical and clinical development of therapeutics.  To accommodate attendees in all time zones, recordings of the sessions from each day were made available. Slide presentations and the e-posters were made publicly available on the isirv website. 


Partnership Organisations

The AVG is very grateful to the many organisations which have collaborated in the success of the AVG programme of conferences, technical workshops and other AVG activities:

Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)

Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

Francis Crick Institute, London, UK

Fudan University, Shanghai, China


Keiyu Hospital, Yokohama, Japan

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, MD, USA

National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), Hanoi, Viet Nam

Northwestern University, Chicago, USA

Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Rio de Janeiro, Brasil 

Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

Pasteur Institute, Paris, France

Shanghai Public Health Center, Shanghai, China

University of Texas, Austin, USA

U.S Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD, USA

WHO, Geneva, Switzerland

WHO Collaborating Centre, Melbourne, Australia


Organisations that have sponsored AVG events (multiple times)

The AVG acknowledges the generous financial support from the many private and public organisations that have ensured the continuing success of the Group’s programme of events over the past 10 years:

Alere Medical Company Ltd

Genentech (2)

Roche (6)

Alios Biopharma



ArkBio (2)

GSK (2)

SAb Biotherapeutics (3)


HEC Pharm

Sanofi Pasteur

Astellas Pharma Inc


Sekisui Medical Co Ltd

Beckton Dickinson Ltd

I&L Biosystems

Seqirus (2)

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Janssen (3)



Jiangxi Qingfeng Pharmaceutical Co Ltd

Shionogi (3)

BMG Labtech (2)

Jiren Pharmaceutical




SRI Biosciences

Chemo-Sero Therapeutic Research Institute

Life Technologies



Medimmune (2)




ThermoFisher Scientific

Daiichi-Sankyo Co Ltd

Merck (4)

Toyama Chemical Comp. Ltd

Denka Seiken Co Ltd (2)


Viroclinics (4)

DS Pharma Biomedical Comp. Ltd

Micron Group

Vismederi (3)

Fujifilm Corporation



Fujifilm Group – Toyama (2)

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd

Wellcome Trust (2)

Fujifilm Pharmaceuticals USA Inc


WHO (3)

Fujirebio Inc (2)

Quidel Corporation