Health News

Vaccine Cures Monkeys Of Deadly Ebola Virus

A study recently published in the journal Nature announced a treatment for the Ebola virus, known as TKM-Ebola-Guinea, developed by the Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation. According to BBCNews the new drug targets the Makona strain of the virus, which caused the current deadly outbreak in West Africa. So far, three monkeys that recived the treatment were healthy when the trial ended after 28 days; three untreated monkeys died within nine days

In a statement picked up by Market Watch Dr. Mark Murray, Tekmira’s President and CEO, said  “As far as we are aware, these data are the first successful demonstration of anti-Ebola virus.” According to the CDC since the outbreak of the west African Ebola strain there has been a total of 14,860 confirmed cases resulting in the death of over 10,000 people spanning multiple countries and continents.

We are pleased to report these preclinical efficacy results. As far as we are aware, these data are the first successful demonstration of anti-Ebola virus therapeutic efficacy against the Makona strain in nonhuman primates (…)These results underscore the adaptability of our siRNA-LNP technology in response to emerging infections. In this case, we rapidly went from new viral sequence data availability, to clinical product adapted to the new Makona strain.

University of Texas scientist Thomas Geisbert, who was the senior author of the study said, of the study that expects to expand and have results from human trials in the second half of this year. “This is the first study to show post-exposure protection.”

This is the first study to show post-exposure protection… against the new Makona outbreak strain of Ebola-Zaire virus.

Mr Geisbert said the drug, produced by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, could be adapted to target any strain of Ebola and could be manufactured in as little as eight weeks, hopefully bringing an end to the deadliest occurrence of Ebola since its discovery in 1976.

In other news about Ebola sexual contact may be causing the Ebola virus to spread.

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