Experimental Ebola treatments at a glance
Three experimental drugs are known to have been used on Ebola patients in the current outbreak:
— Chimerix Inc.’s brincidofovir, being used on the Dallas Ebola patient, is an oral medicine developed to treat other types of viruses. It is in late-stage testing for cytomegalovirus. Durham, North Carolina-based Chimerix is also developing it as a smallpox treatment. Laboratory tests suggest it may be active against Ebola.
— ZMapp from San Diego-based Mapp Pharmaceuticals was developed specifically as an Ebola treatment, a cocktail of antibodies engineered to recognize the virus and bind to infected cells. Supplies are exhausted; work is underway to produce more.
— The TKM-Ebola injection, by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals of Canada, works by blocking genes that help the Ebola virus reproduce and spread. It has been used in at least one patient and is said to be in limited supply.
A fourth drugmaker, North Carolina’s BioCryst, has government funding to research another experimental antiviral drug for Ebola, called BCX4430.
Another option endorsed by the World Health Organization is to attempt a blood transfusion from an Ebola survivor.