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Published On: Sun, Aug 10th, 2014

Prospects for cure from US, Japan

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Ebola VirusBy Doyin Ojosipe

Indications that the cure to the surging world’s deadliest disease is at hand as the US approves new vaccine, while the Japan Government has also approved a new vaccine produced early this year.

The vaccine approved by the US, TKM-Ebola after being on hold since last month, has been approved to be tested on humans as possible curative drug to tackle the Ebola virus disease, which has since ravaged some countries in West Africa.

The vaccine is a product of a Canadian drug company, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporatin, and was tested on monkeys, in 2010; giving them, seven doses of the medicine after they were infected with high doses of Ebola. The drug worked to protect them from the disease. It is one of only three treatments that have been shown to completely protect monkeys against Ebola, Geisbert, a virologist at University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston said in an e-mail.

The US had stopped the human experiment of the drugs last month due to safety concerns, as it was noticed to have an inflammatory, flu-like response in healthy volunteers taking higher doses of the drug.

The virologist at University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston; Thomas Geisbert explained that the drug stops the action of specific Ebola virus genes, which keeps the virus from making more of itself.

Mean while, the first vaccine to be tested on human, Zmapp is still at its experimental stage as it was being tested on America’s first victims of Ebola virus infection. The two victims who are still under observation have reported positive response as they are said to be in stable condition and getting stronger day by day.

Zmapp is being produced by Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., it has also been tested on primates and is said to be made up of monoclonal antibodies, which are used to treat many different types of conditions.

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