Ebola virus drug could be ready next year for human testing
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is scary because there are no medications to treat this fatal disease. However, the disease is very rare, there is no incentive for large pharmaceutical companies to develop a treatment.
However, some small businesses, taking into account of government incentives, engage in the breach. The result: more than half a dozen ideas are actively looking for new drug for ebola.
And these are the days of great help for medication that can treat the virus. Thinking treatments for AIDS and hepatitis C.
Possible treatment for Ebola still many strategies. These include conventional drugs and vaccines, antibodies are suitably designed to not only prevent the spread of diseases in humans, but to be treated in the early stages of infection.
Every idea has shown some promise in animals. But still, nothing surpassed the basic test, so there is nothing ready to deal with in the current outbreak.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hope the multi-faceted approach, but he said: "I think it's too early to make a prediction about what to do more or less promising."
One of the challenges is that there are several species and strains of the Ebola virus so different, so that it can not be a one size fits all solution.
But an experimental drug might fit the bill. Called BCX4430. Travis Warren at the Institute for Medical Research, U.S. Army Laboratory for Infectious Diseases in Frederick, Maryland, has worked in this antiviral drug.
It has very good against both Ebola and Marburg virus [closely related] when tested in mice. It also protects guinea pigs this virus and yellow fever.
Thus, the next series of tests was dissolved in a small number of monkeys that had been infected by Marburg virus.
It is noteworthy that this drug is developed by a small company called BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.
"Just do not make the cut in a large company," said Dr. William Sheridan, medical director of BioCryst, the pharmaceutical giant Amgen says has been working on.
Ebola, scary as it has only about 2,500 patients since it discovered in 1976, around 1,700 of them to kill. The market for a drug of this type is very low.
However, Sheridan says his company has good reason to pursue his desire to solve one of the biggest health problems.
"There is a market and the market is the U.S. government," he said.
The government is committed to a number of drugs that are effective against Ebola, if someone should try to buy them as a biological agent on the battlefield or an act of terrorism to use . Also help federal agencies to pay for the research, so that the company has been pushing as fast as you can.
"We are currently [Manufacturing] drug experiences and driving safety of the typical animals that you usually do before the drug in humans," says Sheridan. "And once it has been successfully completed, move to the middle of the next, we should have completed the first phase degrees on people."
Phase One tests tell whether the drug is relatively safe, but will not say whether it actually be an effective treatment. Assuming that the drug appears to be safe, it would be ready to be tested in a future outbreak of Ebola.
Of course, the most drug candidates fail to fulfill their original promise , and it is not guaranteed, either.
But Travis Warren army laboratory said that given all the advances in the development of drugs for the treatment of viruses, something will come of this extensive research for Ebola drug.
"I am absolutely certain that it will happen," says Warren. "It's just a matter of time."