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EBOLA DRUG: 5 Reasons The Experimental New
cure Will Take So Long To Get To Sick - Health - Nairaland

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ZMapp - The Experimental Ebola Drug - Cures American Doctors / Ebola: Nigeria Reaches Out To U.S. For Experimental Drug; NMA Sets Up Committee / New Cure For Chronic Headache (2) (3) (4)

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EBOLA DRUG: 5 Reasons The Experimental New
cure Will Take So Long To Get To Sick by schumastic(m): 12:38pm On Aug 21, 2014
As the World Health Organisation declares a global health emergency over the Ebola epidemic, why can’t we have more of the only drug that seems to work against the dreaded disease? Here’s why getting experimental serum ZMapp out to infected people will be so slow.

1. The drug has only been made for lab tests so far – not for countering an epidemic
Less than 100 doses of the drug are currently available. So far the ZMapp serum has only been manufactured in quantities suitable for small-scale tests – most recently on 20 monkeys.However, it is effective – in limited animal tests so far ZMapp has been successful. When administered to monkeys one hour after infection, all animals survived. Two-thirds of the animals were protected even when the ZMapp treatment was administered 48 hours after infection.

2. ZMapp is made by a small San Diego pharmaceutical company, with only 9 employees…
Mapp has only nine employees – to put that into perspective, pharma giant Pfizer has 78,000. Mapp just doesn’t immediately have the capacity to scale up.“The manufacturer has been planning for phase 1 clinical trials and does not have the capacity to manufacture large quantities of the treatment,” says the US Center for Disease Control.

3. It’s not just a case of mixing some chemicals together
More importantly, making ZMapp is not a case of swirling some chemicals together in a test-tube. The monoclonal antibodies in ZMapp have to be produced from specially-grown and harvested cells.The special cells were initially made by fusing human cells with those taken from a mouse infected with ebola. After careful nurturing and selection, cells able to produce antibodies are cloned. These hybrid cells are then placed inside tobacco leaves. Why leaves? They act as a nurturing environment where the cells can reproduce and thrive. Initially mice were used to produce the antibody-rich liquid. Using leaves is quicker and cheaper.But even then, it’s not just a case of squeezing the leaves out – once the liquid is extracted from the leaves, it has to be purified and tested for strength.Then the antibodies have to be modified to be more acceptable to the human immune system.

4. The tobacco plants used in production take a month to grow
Tobacco plants have to be about a month old before they can be infected with the antibody cells. And then producing the antibody could take two weeks. A whole new batch will have to be commissioned and the agreement of the tobacco company who owns the plants will also have to be negotiated, especially if there is a drastic increase in the number of plants needed.The current production pipeline is only set up to create a small amount. Gearing up to produce larger quantities would have to start immediately, with several months until the final product is ready.Add in harvesting and purifying the antibodies and the New York Times says the total time is several months.Dr. Fauci of the Infectious Diseases Institute told the New York Times that even the current process in train won’t produce huge numbers of the serum. “You’re not talking about thousands of doses or even hundreds of doses,” he said.But once production is running at full tilt, it can keep going at that rate.“Starting from zero and going to 60 is not so easy, but once you’re at sixty you can keep going at that rate,” Dr. Whaley said. He would not say how many doses could be made and how quickly.

5. Setting up the infrastructure to administer the drugs correctly could take a long time
Then there’s the question of setting up the correct conditions for the serum to be shipped and administered. ZMapp needs to be kept at exactly the right temperature – and currently is administered via injection. These both add to the difficulty of rolling the cure into west African countries where health systems are already struggling.It’s an exciting new experimental drug, but the potential for getting it out to where it’s needed is painfully slow.


Re: EBOLA DRUG: 5 Reasons The Experimental New
cure Will Take So Long To Get To Sick by Nobody: 12:52pm On Aug 21, 2014
Thanks. Very informative
Re: EBOLA DRUG: 5 Reasons The Experimental New
cure Will Take So Long To Get To Sick by schumastic(m): 1:15pm On Aug 21, 2014
i would be very happy if the nigeria govt can start making plans on how to get access to the manufacturers of the drug since the united states has given the aproval already and the liberia govt have started requesting for it......the only problem our country always have is being late in every thing we do and i just pray we are not late on this,considering the fact that it takes months for the zmapp drugs to be ready for use..
Re: EBOLA DRUG: 5 Reasons The Experimental New
cure Will Take So Long To Get To Sick by nora544: 1:30pm On Aug 21, 2014
I hear about this from the co-autor and this is Prof.Dr. Herta steinkellner from the Univerwsity of life science in Vienna in Austria.
She told on the TV how they make ZMAP
you can read a little bit here.

Enhanced potency of a fucose-free monoclonal antibody being developed as an Ebola virus immunoprotectant

but this is not the only one they search.

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