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Ebola

Scientists develop treatment for all strains of Ebola

Image Credit: http://www.scientificanimations.com/wiki-images/

Scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas have developed a new experimental drug that protects against all strains of the deadly Ebola virus in non-human primates.

While previous therapies treated just single strains of Ebola, the new experimental drug protected non-human primates against all strains of the rapidly evolving, highly unpredictable virus.

Ebola outbreak in Congo may last another 6 months, WHO officials say

Image Credit: MONUSCO Photos

The outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is expected to last until mid-2019, a World Health Organization (WHO) official has said.

The outbreak, which has killed more than 200 people, has been called the ‘worst’ outbreak in the country’s history.

“It’s very hard to predict timeframes in an outbreak as complicated as this with so many variables that are outside our control, but certainly we’re planning on at least another six months before we can declare this outbreak over,” WHO emergency response chief Peter Salama told reporters.

MSD's experimental vaccine to be used in fight against Congo Ebola outbreak

The Congo river in the Democratic Republic of Congo

MSD’s experimental drug rVSV-ZEBOV will be used in tackling the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, after samples collected from hospitalised patients tested positive for the filovirus.

Vaccinations are set to begin today in the east of the DRC, according to a senior official at the health ministry as reported by Reuters. The experimental vaccine proved successful during an outbreak in north-western Congo just two weeks ago.

The June 2018 issue of Pharmafocus is now live!

The new June edition of Pharmafocus is now available to read online.

Ebola threat intensifies in DR Congo

The Ebola virus

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is becoming increasingly serious, after it was confirmed that there was a case of a person infected by the virus in the city of Mbandaka.

The city has a population of approximately one million people and sits on the Congo River, a major trading avenue for the region.

Early this week it was announced that MSD would be supplying experimental as yet unapproved vaccines to attempt to curtail the Ebola outbreak but the situation threatens to potentially be beyond control if it spreads to other cities.

Trials reveal two strong vaccine candidates for Ebola

IMAGE: Prevail

Two clinical-stage vaccine candidates for Ebola have produced stunning results, not least because an unexpected protection emerged. The two therapies have been separately developed by GSK and MSD (known as Merck in North America), and were trialled in Liberia.

The trial, known as PREVAIL, began in 2014, at the height of the Ebola crisis, and the results have finally been revealed. It showed that both vaccines produced a high-level of antibody response, which was durable in the long-term.

GSK proposes biopreparedness unit to combat global outbreaks

London-based pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline has proposed the creation of a biopreparedness unit to help avert crises like those we have seen with the recent global zika and ebola outbreaks.

MSD and GAVI agree Ebola vaccine deal

GAVI logo

MSD and the global vaccine alliance Gavi have agreed a deal to provide 300,000 dosesof  an Ebola virus vaccine, to continue trials and begin preparation for future outbreaks of the deadly virus.

The deal, announced today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, establishes an Advance Purchase Commitment between Gavi that provides $5 million towards the development of MSD’s rVSV-G-ZEBOV-GP live attenuated Ebola Zaire vaccine, on the understanding that it will be submitted for

China’s Tianjin invests $300m in Ebola plant

China manufacturing
Chinese firm CanSino is dedicated to new vaccine development

China’s Tianjin CanSino Biotechnology, a developer of affordable vaccines, says that it will invest 2 billion Yuan (£203.3 million) in an Ebola vaccine plant.

The investment will be to build a plant in the northeast city of Tianjin to mass produce an Ebola vaccine.

Although there is no official date for when production will begin at the plant, it is thought that the facility will be completed in 2017/2018.

Researchers hopeful experimental antiviral treatment stops Ebola

Ebola virus
Ebola virus (Credit: Frederick Murphy, USCDCP)

An experimental antiviral therapy may have prevented British healthcare workers from contracting Ebola after exposure to the disease in West Africa. 

A report, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, describes a case study of eight British healthcare workers who were evacuated to London’s Royal Free Hospital after possible accidental exposure to Ebola virus in Sierra Leone between January and March 2015. 

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