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World How US Overlooked Promising Ebola Drug


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The United States government a couple of years ago overlooked a promising Ebola drug AVI-7537, CNBC says. The government had been funding research on the drug, before it abruptly financial aid to the research although, Sarepta Therapeutics, makers of the drug, tried to draw the government's attention back to the drug, all to no avail.

Excerpt:

In all the panic and controversy over Ebola, government and public-health authorities seem strangely oblivious to a potential remedy that deserves attention. Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), a biotech company in Cambridge, Mass., has a small supply of an experimental Ebola drug that has shown promising—if very preliminary—results in laboratory trials for safety and effectiveness.

In private meetings, Sarepta has reminded various arms of the U.S. government that the drug, known as AVI-7537, is available in limited quantities—but so far to no avail. Making the situation all the more puzzling, the U.S. government in years past funded Sarepta’s research on Ebola, until the Department of Defense abruptly cut the program for budgetary reasons in 2012.

Sarepta hasn’t kept any of this a secret. As recently as Sept. 30, the day that Thomas Eric Duncan tested positive for Ebola in Dallas, the company’s chief executive officer appeared on CNBC to discuss research in the area. Sarepta CEO Chris Garabedian said that with a modest amount of fresh government funding, his company could expand its supply of AVI-7537 from the couple dozen courses of treatment it has on hand to enough medicine to treat 100 Ebola patients.

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#Ebola #CNBC

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