Did a Secret Ebola Drug Save U.S. Patients?
the MPR take:
A drug developed by Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. may have saved the lives of two Americans who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia last week. The experimental treatment, known as ZMapp, had shown promise in small experiments involving monkeys; two monkeys infected with Ebola were given the therapy within 24 hours post-infection and survived, while another two survived after receiving the therapy within 48 hours after infection. According to sources, Dr. Kent Brantly, one of the two Americans with Ebola, was given the treatment via IV after nine days and within an hour his symptoms drastically improved. The second American stricken with Ebola, Nancy Writebol, did not respond immediately to the treatment but did have significant improvement with a second dose of the therapy. ZMApp is a monoclonal antibody developed by exposing mice to portions of the virus and then harvesting the antibodies generated within the mouse blood. This treatment has not been approved by the FDA, but it is likely that access was approved under “compassionate use” regulation that allows the use of investigational drugs outside of clinical trials. Dr. Brantly and Ms. Writebol are now at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for further treatment and analysis.
(CNN) – Three top secret, experimental vials stored at subzero temperatures were flown into Liberia last week in a last-ditch effort to save two American missionary workers who had contracted Ebola, according to a source familiar with details of the treatment.