Ebola treatment worked on monkeys

An experimental Ebola drug developed in San Diego protected all monkeys infected with the deadly virus in lab testing, according to a study published Friday in the journal Nature.

The research provides more promise that ZMapp, from Mapp Biopharmaceutical in Sorrento Mesa, could help human patients fight off the outbreak raging across much of West Africa.

In the study, 18 rhesus macaques were given ZMapp up to five days after infection. All of them survived.

“The level of improvement was utterly beyond my honest expectation,” said one of the study’s leaders, Gary Kobinger of the Public Health Agency of Canada in Winnipeg.

“For animal data, it’s extremely impressive,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which had a role in the work.

It’s unknown how well ZMapp — a combination of three antibodies — would work in people, where Ebola can take up to 21 days to show symptoms. That determination requires a clinical trial, which could begin late this year or in early 2015.

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.