US doc treated with Tekmira Ebola drug declared virus free
- American Dr. Richard Sacra has been declared free of the Ebola virus by the CDC and discharged from the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where he was undergoing intensive treatment.
- Sacra is the third U.S. Ebola patient to be discharged -- but the first to be released after being treated with Tekmira's experimental TKM-Ebola (and receiving transfusions from a fellow cured Ebola patient). The two others, Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary aid worker Nancy Writebol, were released from the Emory University Hospital last month after treatment with Mapp Biopharmaceutical's ZMapp. One other patient is still in treatment at Emory.
- TKM-Ebola, ZMapp, and Sarepta Therapeutics' AVI-7537 have all been fast-tracked for clinical trials in African patients infected with Ebola.
This is a major victory for Tekmira and its experimental TKM-Ebola, which was cleared for emergency use in Canada and the U.S. by those countries' respective health authorities earlier this week. Tekmira spokespeople tamped down expectation after that announcement. "[I]t must be kept in mind that any uses of the product under expanded access, does not constitute controlled clinical trials," said Tekmira CEO Mark J. Murray in a statement.
The U.S. has enjoyed a perfect record so far when it comes to treating Ebola patients who were transported back to America for treatment. However, one American, Patrick Sawyer, died of Ebola in a Nigerian hospital in the early days of the outbreak, and one infected patient is still undergoing treatment at Emory.
- Associated Press 3rd US Ebola Patient Released From Hospital
- BioPharma Dive CDC: Dire outlook for Ebola in West Africa
- BioPharma Dive UPDATED: Tekmira tempers expectations as regulators clear Ebola drug for emergency use