New Ebola Drug Okayed for Emergency Use

September 22, 2014 5:42 PM

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New Ebola Drug Okayed for Emergency Use

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the way forward for emergency use of another experimental Ebola drug — this one made by the Canadian company Tekmira. The drug has been in human trials but they’d been stopped because of FDA concerns over the dose. "We have already responded to requests for the use of our investigational agent in several patients under emergency protocols ...,” Dr. Mark Murray, Tekmira's president and CEO, said in a statement. “We have worked with the FDA and Health Canada to establish this framework and a treatment protocol allowing us to do what we can to help these patients.”

The drug uses bits of genetic material called small interfering RNAs, or siRNAs for short. Viruses kill cells by invading them and taking over their machinery to force them to pump out copy after copy of virus. This drug doesn’t prevent infection, but stops the virus from replicating by attaching to...

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