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Fri Aug 29, 2014, 08:34 PM

Ebola: Experimental drug ZMapp is '100% effective' in animal trials

Source: BBC

By James Gallagher
Health editor, BBC News website

The only clinical trial data on the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp shows it is 100% effective in monkey studies, even in later stages of the infection.

The researchers, publishing their data in Nature, said it was a "very important step forward".

Yet the limited supplies will not help the 20,000 people predicted to be infected during the outbreak in West Africa.

And two out of seven people given the drug, have later died from the disease.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28980153



Nature appears to have made the entire paper accessible online: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature13777.html

ETA: This is a "near-final version" of the report.

11 replies, 1720 views

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Reply Ebola: Experimental drug ZMapp is '100% effective' in animal trials (Original post)
eppur_se_muova Aug 2014 OP
mahannah Aug 2014 #1
another_liberal Aug 2014 #2
magical thyme Aug 2014 #4
XemaSab Aug 2014 #6
magical thyme Aug 2014 #8
eppur_se_muova Aug 2014 #11
freshwest Aug 2014 #10
BrotherIvan Aug 2014 #3
w4rma Aug 2014 #5
Psephos Aug 2014 #7
rexcat Aug 2014 #9

Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 09:15 PM

1. Pharmaceutical companies are able to “push production” (I’ve seen this first hand).

So, what's going on here?

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Response to mahannah (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 09:20 PM

2. Liability for side effects?

 

Just guessing.

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Response to mahannah (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 10:01 AM

4. nothing is "going on" here

 

It is in the very early stages of development. Read the article. All of 18 monkeys were tested. That is a great start, but statistically inadequate to claim it is 100% effective in monkeys, never mind humans.

There were only something like 25 doses total before they used them all up. Commercial production involves growing the monoclonal antibodies in tobacco plants, then extracting and purifying them. As a result, it takes months to produce at a commercial level because it takes some time for the tobacco plants to grow.

"To create a system to produce the humanized mAbs at commercial scale, Mapp used a process called "Rapid Antibody Manufacturing Platform" (RAMP), using magnICON (ICON Genetics) viral vectors. In a process called "magnifection," tobacco plants are infected with the viruses, using Agrobacterium cultures.[2][8][11] Subsequently, antibodies are extracted and purified from the plants. Once the genes encoding the humanized mAbs are in hand, the entire tobacco production cycle is believed to take a few months.[12]"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZMapp

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 02:57 PM

6. Any indication of how many plants it takes?

This sounds like a depressingly long and expensive process.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 04:02 PM

8. No idea...

 

The good news is it is a positive use for tobacco plants.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 06:10 PM

11. Thank you for that trenchant observation. :) nt

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Response to mahannah (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 05:21 PM

10. Some things that work on monkeys don't work on people, but some do. I expect they are tweaking this.

No one in their right mind in government wants to see this spread. What it does to one group can also happen to more advanced nations. Such a killer as Ebola respects no borders, persons or social status. In the meantime, while they hopefull perfect this drug, there are some solutions that may slow down the infection:

Ebola crisis: Five ways to avoid the deadly virus


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28940025

These are common sense precautions that come up against justified fears that people have, not trusting, unable to get medical care and being ill.

We love and want to help each other when sick or pay our respects to our dead. I think some of those suggestions are good medically but hard to get people to adhere to in any country.

It could happen here. This vaccine will be great when they perfect it. But Ebola has plagued parts of Africa for decades. And it is not so different from some other diseases. They are all scary as hell.

Just sayin'

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 03:57 AM

3. That's really something

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 02:45 PM

5. "And two out of seven people given the drug, have later died from the disease." (nt)

 

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Response to w4rma (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 02:58 PM

7. One out of two of the first penicillin recipients died.

Pretty early in the game to be applying statistical analyses, which is what I believe you're saying, too.

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Response to w4rma (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 04:55 PM

9. It would also be important to know...

at what stage of the disease the people were at when they received the experimental drug and other confounding factors, such as organ function, immune response to the disease, age of the victim, sex of the victim, general health of the infected person pre-infection and a multitude of other factors. It would be unethical to draw any conclusions when "n" is so small.

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