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商业 - 医药

有关抗埃博拉病毒药物的五件事

John Kell 2014年08月08日

美国加州Mapp生物制药公司推出了一款试验性的药物,用于治疗两名在利比亚工作期间感染埃博拉病毒的医务人员,据报道目前该药物已经起效。

    西非地区爆发的埃博拉病毒已经导致近900人死亡,现在,一家小型制药公司研制出了一款试验性药物,该药物已经用于治疗两名被感染的美国人。

    据彭博社报道,总部位于加利福尼亚州的Mapp生物制药公司最近推出了一款名叫ZMapp的试验性药物,该药之前只在感染了埃博拉病毒的动物身上测试过,现在正用于治疗肯特•布兰特利和南茜•莱特博尔,这两位医务人员在利比里亚工作期间感染了埃博拉病毒。据彭博社(Bloomberg News)从病人家属和看护人员那里了解到的情况看,目前这种药物已经起效了。

    关于Mapp生物制药公司,以及它推出的这款抗埃博拉病毒药物,有五点值得我们了解。

    (1)埃博拉病毒目前无法治愈。该病毒会导致人体的严重疾病,致死率高达90%。据世界健康组织介绍,该病毒通常在中非和西非的边远农村地爆发。它一般是通过与被感染动物的血液或其它体液的密切接触而传播到人体的。

    (2)Mapp生物制药公司创立于2003年,目前市场上尚无该公司生产的药品出售。该公司主要关注“全球健康和生化防御领域尚未满足的需求”,现有10个抗体产品开发项目,其中之一就是针对埃博拉病毒。

    (3)今年年初,Mapp等几家生物制药公司获得了一笔五年期最高2800万美元的奖金,用于一个抗击埃博拉病毒的项目。这笔奖金是由美国国立卫生研究院(National Institutes of Health)提供的,旨在通过全球合作开发出抗击埃博拉病毒和青猴病、苏丹亚型埃博拉病毒、拉沙病毒等出血热病毒的鸡尾酒疗法。这笔奖金意在激励所有参与方贡献抗体,以开发最佳治疗方案。

    (4)就在这笔奖金发放之前,美国陆军传染病医学研究院(U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases)的研究显示,一系列抗体的组合可以阻止埃博拉病毒的恶化。在试验中,科学家们已经成功地治疗了开始出现病毒症状的灵长类动物。与此同时,Mapp公司也已经和加拿大的Defyrus公司展开合作,以优化更多专利疗法的研发过程。

    (5)在治疗两名美国医务人员时,Mapp公司的新药表现出良好的疗效。因此,很多人质疑说,在几百名非洲人已经死亡的情况下,为什么美国政府还要限制这款试验性药物?据彭博社报道,美国食品与药品监督局(FDA)可以在24小时之内,通过一项使用未获批准药物的紧急决议。(财富中文网)

    译者:朴成奎

    In the wake of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa that has resulted in nearly 900 deaths, a tiny pharmaceutical maker has allowed an experimental treatment to be used for two Americans infected with the deadly virus.

    California-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical has released its experimental ZMapp drug, which had only been tested on infected animals, to treat Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, according to Bloomberg News. The two health workers were infected while working in Liberia. The treatments for now appear to be working, Bloomberg said, citing relatives and supporters.

    Here are five things to know about Mapp and its efforts to develop a potential treatment for the Ebola virus.

    1) The Ebola virus has no cure. The disease is a severe illness in humans, with a fatality rate of up to 90%. Outbreaks often occur in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rain forests, according to the World Health Organization. It is introduced into the human population through close contact with blood or other bodily fluids of infected animals, WHO says.

    2) Mapp, which was founded in 2003, has no commercially available treatments on the market. The company focuses on “unmet needs in global health and biodefense,” and currently has 10 antibody product development programs, with one of those focusing on the Ebola virus.

    3) Mapp and a few other biopharmaceutical companies earlier this year were awarded a five-year grant of up to $28 million for a project to fight the Ebola virus. The grant, awarded by the National Institutes of Health, is meant to be a global collaboration to develop cocktails to fight Ebola and other hemorrhagic fever viruses such as Marburg, Sudan and Lassa viruses. The program is meant to encourage all participates to contribute antibodies to develop the best possible treatment.

    4) That grant was awarded after research from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases showed that a mix of antibodies can stop the Ebola virus. Scientists were able to successfully treat infected primates following the onset of disease symptoms. Around that time, Mapp had consolidated its antibody programs with Canada-based Defyrus, aiming to streamline the development of more potent treatments.

    5) The potential success of Mapp’s drug in treating Americans infected with the disease does raise questions about the limited use of experimental treatments after hundreds of Africans have died. Bloomberg reported the Food and Drug Administration can approve an emergency application to provide access to unapproved drugs, a request that can be granted within 24 hours.

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