All gone for now: Ebola drug ZMapp supply exhausted
- San Diego, CA-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical says that it has exhausted the available supply of its experimental Ebola treatment ZMapp after sending doses to unnamed African countries. Nigeria and Liberia had both previously requested the drug.
- ZMapp has already been used to treat two Americans who contracted Ebola in Africa, as well as a Spanish priest in Europe. According to the Wall Street Journal, Mapp Biopharma stated that it has supplied ZMapp for free to all parties requesting it using the proper procedures.
- Mapp Biopharmaceutical and the U.S. government are working together to expedite human clinical trials for ZMapp, which were not slated to launch until next year.
It is no surprise that ZMapp has been so heavily sought considering that the two Ebola-infected Americans being administered the drug are reportedly improving in health. The Ebola epidemic has now infected 1,848 people in West Africa and killed an estimated 1,013 victims.
What is less clear-cut is the proper method for dispensing experimental medications like ZMapp during times of crises. Mapp was careful to specify that all parties that had received doses "were or are highly capable of providing informed consent for the use of an experimental drug not yet evaluated for safety in animals or people." The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), a part of the U.S. Defense Department, reportedly plans to give the company a contract that will allow it commence human clinical testing soon.
On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a panel of ethicists, doctors, and laypeople from Ebola-afflicted regions to discuss the issues surrounding the use of experimental drugs during international public health emergencies, including how to determine drug safety and who should be eligible to receive experimental treatments.
- Wall Street Journal Maker of Experimental 'ZMapp' Ebola Drug Says Its Supply Is Exhausted
- BioPharma Dive WHO panel to debate ZMapp, ethics of experimental Ebola treatments