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Atlanta, Ga. — The American doctor, Dr. Kent Brantly, who received a dose of ZMapp serum prior to leaving South Africa and is currently here at Emory University Hospital where he says he is “recovering in every way” to the point of he hopes being released soon Friday asked the world not to forget the Ebola victims in South Africa; “their fight is far from over”
This as three doses of ZMapp were delivered to Liberia where they are scheduled to be given the two South African doctors who are stricken with the disease. The doctors are being treated at JFK Medical Hospital. The government of Liberia negotiated with Mapp Biopharmaceuticals of San Diego, Calif., and obtained the serum; a Mapp spokesman said that the serum was provided at “no charge.”
A spokesman for Liberia’s Assistant Health Minister Dr. Moses Massaquoi Wednesday said that they are exploring all options, including contacting the Canadian company that produces TKM-Ebola, another experimental serum, to help us in our fight against Ebola.
Tekmira’s TKM-Ebola, produced by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. of Burnaby, British Columbia, had been put on full clinical hold by the FDA due to safety concerns, but on Aug. 8 the FDA changed this to a partial hold which allows the potential use of TKM-Ebola to treat Ebola patients.
This week Mapp Biopharmaceuticals said they had exhausted their supply of ZMapp.
This week the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) described ZMapp as having “superior efficacy” compared to earlier serums.
Thus far, the serum has been given to two American patients following their development Ebola symptoms, and both Dr. Brantley and Nancy Writebol are still alive and showing improvement. A third person, a Spanish priest, Miguel Pajares, 75, was given the serum but died this Tuesday.
Mapp reportedly has asked for financial assistance from the U.S. government to increase production. NIAID, the Department of Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) are all supporting ZMapp
According to NIAID, an Ebola vaccine has been developed by the Vaccine Research Center in conjunction with the Swiss-Italian Okairos which has shown “promise” in primates and phase one clinical trials might begin this fall pending FDA approval.
So far, Ebola has killed 1,069, and there are 1,975 confirmed and suspected cases. Cases have been reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria in West Africa.
(Some of the information for this story was provided by Front Page Africa.)