Multiple news agencies announced Saturday, that ZMapp had cured 100 percent of monkeys that were inoculated with a different strain of Ebola in a Canadian study of the virus.
According to researchers, health officials and medical teams, the vaccine has not undergone the normal human clinical trial stages. However, a small handful of infected people agreed to be injected with the vaccine.
CBCNews.com reported yesterday that one Ebola survivor now pleads with the vaccine manufacturer to hurry with the production of the drug.
The drug that is being referred to as a “monumental achievement,” only had about 20 doses in stock, and all have been exhausted.
Researchers said once a living host has been sick for too long, there are those instances wherein possible treatments cannot turn back the damage already done to the body by the hemorrhagic virus.
According to USA Today, a newspaper circulated across that country, of the small amount of people who have received the vaccine, only two have died. These were “a Spanish priest and a Liberian doctor.” This means it could be that they may have received the vaccine too late, the newspaper said.
The monkeys which were given a lethal strain of Ebola recovered, and were given the drug five days after infection.
With only a small number of Ebola patients testing the drug, it is hard for researchers to conclude whether it is the main reason for the patient’s recovery.
In the wake of numbers of Ebola cases increasing in West Africa, health officials, medical teams and pharmaceutical researchers have scrambled to find a treatment of the virus to help reduce and contain the spread of the epidemic in the West African affected countries.
Thomas Geisbert, an Ebola expert, said one of the infected Americans, Kent Brantly, didn’t just receive the vaccine but he also had a blood transfusion from an Ebola patient who survived — so his case isn’t one hundred percent ZMapp.
The research report, published in the Journal Nature, states that humans should receive three scheduled doses to optimize the efficacy for recovery. While the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimates that the current outbreak will infect more than 18,000 people, Gary Kobinger, who works for Canada’s Public Health Agency, said the drug is manufactured by a bio processing plant in Kentucky, and can only produce 20 to 40 doses per month. But the question remains, does Zmapp work for humans? Kobinger told The Washington Post, “I think it strongly supports that concept, but it’s not proven.”
The spokesman for the owner of the Kentucky Bio processing plant believes that the three doses are theory. Since conclusive human studies have not been done, the real issue is to have everyone’s focus on the clinical, and development steps to help find the correct dosing requirements, and speed up processing, he said.
ZMapp could obtain approval of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in six month, maybe less, under their accelerated review titles.
So far, Kobinger said, none of the animals tested has shown any side effects. He also indicated that the Zaire Ebola strain now appears to be mutating as it moves from host to host, and researchers can’t be sure that Zmapp will solve the Ebola problem.