（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。
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.