First US Ebola patient being treated with experimental Chimerix antiviral
- Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient in the U.S. to be diagnosed with Ebola, has started treatment with brincidofovir after a special request from his physicians.
- Brincidofovir, an investigational broad spectrum antiviral from Chimerix, is in Phase III development for use against cytomegalovirus and adenovirus infections.
- This is the third experimental drug to be used to treat Ebola. The other two medications that have been used include ZMapp from Mapp Pharmaceuticals and TKM-Ebola from Tekmira.
If ever there were a time to fast-track an experimental drug, now is the time. Chimerix is working with the FDA to rapidly finalize a clinical trial protocol in order to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of brincidofovir in Ebola-infected patients.
TKM-Ebola and ZMapp (whose supply has already been exhaused) have been the go-to Ebola treatments to date. In fact, one of the creators of TKM-Ebola said he was surprised that doctors had foregone the treatment and opted for the Chimerix drug, according to USA Today.
"I've never heard of this drug being used for Ebola before," said Thomas Geisbert. "It works in cell culture. That's great. Lots of things work in cell culture against Ebola" without showing efficacy in animals and humans.