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Japan to offer anti-viral drug favipiravir to treat Ebola

Japan will offer anti-viral drug favipiravir as a possible treatment of Ebola.

Aug 26, 2014 16:15 IST
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Japan will offer anti-viral drug favipiravir as a possible treatment of Ebola. The drug is known under the brand name of Avignan.

The drug was approved by Japan’s health ministry for use against flu but the drug is not tested on humans.

Currently, the manufacturing firm, Fujifilm is in talks with the US Food and Drug Administration over the clinical testing of favipiravir in treating Ebola.

The WHO ruled that it is ethical to use untested drugs on Ebola patients given the magnitude of the outbreak.

Favipiravir

Favipiravir inhibits viral gene replication within infected cells to prevent propagation, while other anti-viral drugs often are designed to inhibit the release of new viral particles to prevent the spread of infection. It has enough stock of favipiravir for more than 20000 patients.

Other drugs ZMapp

Earlier, the ZMapp drug was developed by Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc to treat Ebola.

ZMapp is composed of three humanized monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that combine the best components of MB-003 (Mapp) and ZMAb (Defyrus/PHAC) each of which were combinations of mAbs.

Two of the mAbs in ZMapp were taken from ZMab and one of them came from MB-003.

Ebola

There is no known cure or treatment for the disease which has a fatality rate estimated at between 60 and 90 per cent.

Almost 1500 people have so far been killed by the Ebola outbreak since March 2013 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Further, two new cases was detected from Congo earlier in August 2014.