Canada Lab Feels Proud of its Contribution in Developing the Experimental Ebola Medicine
By Kalyan Kumar | August 6, 2014 10:01 AM EST
The Canadian research centres played a vital role in shaping the experimental Ebola therapy administered to two American aid workers infected by Ebola, reported Times Colonist. ZMapp, the unlicenced drug was a product of three monoclonal antibodies, which are disease fighting proteins capable of targeting specific parts of an invading pathogen like the Ebola Zaire virus, which is responsible for the outbreak.
Workers from Doctors Without Borders unload emergency medical supplies to deal with an Ebola outbreak in Conakry, Guinea, March 23, 2014. Health officials fighting an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea on Sunday dispatched specialised medical equipment, imposed restrictions on funerals and sought to contain panic to prevent the fever from spreading. There have been 29 confirmed deaths from the haemorrhagic fever among 59 people killed by a mysterious illness in southeastern Guinea since early February, international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said. Picture taken March 23, 2014.
Two of the monoclonal antibodies were the result of years of research at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg. The U.S. Army Institute of Infectious Diseases developed the third one.
World leader in pathogen research
Canada is considered a world leader in research on pathogens. The NML has made great strides. Dr. Frank Plummer, former head of NML expressed happiness at the news that Canadian-designed monoclonal antibodies had been used in fighting Ebola.
At NML Dr. Gary Kobinger heads the special pathogens division. His team was able to develop a cocktail of three monoclonal antibodies called ZMAb whose rights were acquired by LeafBio, an American company.
Neither ZMapp nor the individual monoclonal antibodies have been tested on humans. Both Brantly and Writebol were warned that the drug was only tested in animals but they were willing to take the treatment. Later the limited amount of ZMapp used in treating Brantly and Writebol was given an investigational new drug ((IND) designation by the FDA.
The drug's, phase I clinical trial may happen later this year. The trial will see whether it is safe for people, and in what dose. The drug is generated by tobacco plants, which are genetically conditioned to produce monoclonal antibodies. Kentucky BioProcessing at Owensboro undertakes this work. The former is a subsidiary of tobacco giant Reynolds American.
World Bank Aid
Meanwhile, the World Bank on Monday stepped in to help the Ebola hit countries with a $200 million emergency package. The bank expressed the hope that the aid would help in stabilising the health care systems in the worst hit Liberia and Sierra Leone where the death toll is touching 1000. The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim expressed deep concern and said he was worried that more lives would be at risk if the epidemic was not stopped at its tracks.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
Join the Conversation
- Ebola Spreads Through Red Cross Vaccine - Ghana Nurse ‘Testifies’; The Truth About Red Cross
- Ebola News Regarding Wortham's Kindergarteners Infected is False, Angry Reactions
- Ebola Outbreak Blamed on Infected Bushmeat; First Family to Catch Virus Hunted Bats
- Ebola Is Changing The Religious Landscape In West Africa
- Ebola Czar In US To Work On Bringing Down Anxiety Levels About The Epidemic : Nigeria Cheers As It Becomes Ebola Free
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Date Likely this October 2014 with Pangu not Evad3rs Firming Up as Creator
- Chilling: New ISIS Video Addresses Australia; Aussie Teen Delivers Message
- The Pirate Bay Blockade: Cost Of Blocking Websites Like TPB Is Ridiculously High
- Xiaomi Mi4 And MiPad Prices Likely Slashed, Thanks To Rivals Oppo, OnePlus And Meizu
- Top 4 Free-To-Download Apps for Fuller iPhone 6, 6 Plus Experience
- Russia Beefs Up Gold Reserves To Offset Heat of Sanctions And Undercut Dollar