Ebola Treatment Shown to Work on Infected Monkeys

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 22, 2013, 9:02 a.m.

A new Ebola drug grown from spe­cial to­bacco plants has been shown to cure mon­keys that were already dis­play­ing signs of in­fec­tion by the vir­al hem­or­rhagic fever, the Los Angeles Times re­por­ted on Wed­nes­day.

Oth­er Ebola coun­ter­meas­ures have been shown to work on in­fec­ted an­im­als be­fore they start dis­play­ing symp­toms of the highly vir­u­lent and leth­al dis­ease. However, this is the first time a drug has demon­strated any ef­fect­ive­ness after signs of the vir­us have mani­fes­ted. That is re­garded as a cru­cial cap­ab­il­ity in the event of a real-life dis­ease epi­dem­ic, ac­cord­ing to vir­o­lo­gist Gene Olinger, who works at the Army Med­ic­al Re­search In­sti­tute of In­fec­tious Dis­eases at Fort De­t­rick, Md.

“We’ve pushed the op­por­tun­ity to treat people to the point where they walk in and say, ‘I have a fever,’” said Olinger, co-au­thor of a re­port on the new Ebola drug pub­lished by the Sci­ence Trans­la­tion­al Medi­cine journ­al on Wed­nes­day. “A lot of folks in the field would have thought pro­tect­ing an an­im­al at the time of fever and viremia is too late to have a clin­ic­al be­ne­fit.”

Ebola is one of the most deadly and con­ta­gious dis­eases known to ex­ist in nature. The lack of ad­equate vac­cines and an­ti­dotes for the dis­ease have made it a ser­i­ous worry for biode­fense spe­cial­ists con­cerned about its pos­sible ap­plic­a­tions as a bio­lo­gic­al weapon.

In the re­cent study, sev­en in­fec­ted rhesus mon­keys were ad­min­istered the ex­per­i­ment­al treat­ment MB-003 through their veins once every three days. Three of the mon­keys did not die, res­ult­ing in a stat­ist­ic­ally not­able suc­cess rate of 43 per­cent.

Fort De­t­rick sci­ent­ist and lead study au­thor James Pet­titt said it is prob­able that in a real-life out­break, the drug would be ad­min­istered at a high­er dosage and with great­er fre­quency.

“We think we’ll get bet­ter res­ults,” the re­search­er said.

Grow­ing the drug from spe­cially de­veloped to­bacco leaves is not only less costly than con­ven­tion­al cell-based meth­ods, but also al­lows for large batches of the drug to be pro­duced on fairly short, weeklong sched­ules, ac­cord­ing to the Times art­icle.

Olinger said fur­ther meas­ures will be taken to im­prove MB-003 by adding to it more Ebola an­ti­bod­ies that were dis­covered by a dif­fer­ent group of re­search­ers.

What We're Following See More »
PRESIDENT CALLS MEDICAID FUNDS A “BAILOUT”
Puerto Rico Another Sticking Point in Budget Talks
16 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. it should be included. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."

Source:
POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?
Democrats Threaten Spending Bill Over Obamacare
3 hours ago
BREAKING

Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.

Source:
IN 2014
Pentagon Warned Flynn Not To Accept Foreign Payments
5 hours ago
BREAKING
WOULD PUSH DEADLINE TO MAY 5
One-Week Spending Bill On The Table
6 hours ago
BREAKING

Members of Congress are eyeing a one-week spending bill which would keep the government open past the Friday night deadline, giving lawmakers an extra week to iron out a long-term deal to fund the government. Without any action, the government would run out of funding starting at midnight Saturday. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon," said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Source:
WILL BE RENEGOTIATED
Trump: I’m Not Pulling Out of NAFTA
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Trump informed Mexican President Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday afternoon that he will not pull the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) despite reports earlier in the day that he had considered doing so. ... The three leaders agreed to proceed quickly with renegotiation plans as the initial review process comes to a close."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login