US study: Drugs protect monkeys from Ebola

On Sunday, US government researchers working to find ways to treat the highly deadly Ebola virus said a new approach from AVI BioPharma Inc saved... More Below... Posted by on Aug 23rd, 2010 and filed under Health.

On Sunday, US government researchers working to find ways to treat the highly deadly Ebola virus said a new approach from AVI BioPharma Inc saved monkeys after they were infected.

The team at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland reported that two experimental treatments protected more than 60 percent of monkeys infected with Ebola and all the monkeys infected with a related virus called Marburg.

AVI BioPharma already has a contract worth up to $291 million from the US Department of Defense to develop Ebola treatments.

The drugs tested are antisense phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers, or PMOs, called AVI-6002 and AVI-6003, said Sina Bavari and colleagues in the journal Nature Medicine.

Bavari’s team wrote, “Taken together, these studies provide a major advancement in therapeutic development efforts for treatment of filovirus hemorrhagic fever.”

The company may now test the drugs in people after it has submitted investigational new drug applications for AVI-6002 and AVI-6003 to the US Food and Drug Administration.

(Thanks to ABC News and Dr. Frederick Murphy)