- Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings partnered with the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) earlier this month, with the goal of receiving expedited approval from the Chinese FDA for JK-05.
- JK-05, which was has been under development by the AMMS for five years, is currently approved for emergency military use only.
- JK-05 is a micro-molecular chemical, which selectively contains the RNA polymerase of the Ebola virus to inhibit virus replication.
Although there have not been any reported cases of Ebola in China to date during this outbreak, Sihuan and the AMMS are major contenders in the race to develop an experimental drug that effectively cures Ebola. It joins the ranks of Tekmira, Chimerix, and Mapp Biopharma, all of which have developed experimental drugs that have been used with various degrees of success to treat Ebola patients.
On September 5, the Chinese FDA approved JK-05 for emergency use only in military situations, based on strong preclinical and safety data. There is an openness among regulatory authorities worldwide to grant fast-track designation to drugs that are being developed to treat the deadly virus.
The need is acute. With more nearly 4,500 people dead from Ebola infection since this outbreak began and a mortality rate that has now risen from 50% to 70%, the World Health Organization has called the Ebola virus "the most severe biologic threat in the world." If JK-05 does indeed turn out to be a definitive cure for Ebola, it will provide much-needed relief to large-scale human suffering, while also boosting China's rapidly growing pharmaceutical industry.
Last week, University of Utah scientists said they had isolated a potential universal drug target for Ebola that could be the cure to finding a cure.