WHO urges drug companies, regulators to speed Ebola work

Thu Sep 4, 2014 11:23am EDT
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* WHO hosts two-day talks on experimental Ebola therapies

* Says eight drugs and two vaccines have shown potential

* Calls for speeding work on developing safe, efficient treatments

* A few hundred doses of ZMapp may be available by year-end

* Newlink gets FDA nod for clinical trials of Ebola vaccine

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, Sept 4 (Reuters) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) called on Thursday for pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies to work together to accelerate development of safe and efficient drugs and vaccines against Ebola.

Ten experimental treatments - eight drugs and "two promising candidate vaccines" - have shown potential against the virus but remain under investigation, the WHO said in a document distributed at the start of a two-day meeting in Geneva.

They include the antibody drug ZMapp made by U.S.-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., which has been given to several Ebola patients for "compassionate care" but whose clinical effectiveness is "still uncertain", it said. "Efforts to scale up production (of ZMapp) may yield increased supplies of potentially a few hundred doses by the end of 2014."   Continued...