Companies, Governments Rush To Test Ebola Drugs, Vaccine; U.S. Government Funds Company To Advance Experimental Drug

News outlets report on the activities of drug companies and governments to speed up research and development on Ebola drugs and vaccines, including the U.S. government’s funding of a pharmaceutical company to further development on a particular experimental drug.

The Hill: Governments scramble to develop Ebola drugs
“Governments and drugmakers are scrambling to develop new treatments for the Ebola virus now that the World Health Organization (WHO) has eased restrictions on untested vaccines. The United States government is putting cash into experimental treatments, and on Tuesday, gave $4.1 million to the drugmaker BioCryst to advance its Ebola drug BCX4430, the company announced Wednesday…” (Al-Faruque, 8/13).

New York Times: As Ebola’s Toll Rises, Drug Makers Race to Test Medicines
“Because outbreaks are sporadic and mainly confined to Africa, the Ebola virus has not been a priority for profit-seeking pharmaceutical companies. But with the largest ever Ebola outbreak now having killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa, drug companies and doctors are scrambling to see whether any existing medicines or drugs under development can help stem the epidemic…” (Pollack, 8/13).

Reuters: U.S. government advances development of BioCryst’s potential Ebola drug
“BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. said the U.S. government exercised options to test the company’s antiviral drug in humans and non-primates as a treatment for hemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola. The biotechnology company’s shares rose as much as 4.4 percent in morning trade. BioCryst said it would receive $4.1 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to advance development of an intramuscular formulation of its drug, BCX4430…” (Grover, 8/13).

Bloomberg: First Use of Ebola Vaccine Is at Least a Month Away
“A vaccine that could help protect medical workers as they fight Ebola in West Africa, even just after contamination, may take at least a month to be available as global officials weigh its safety…” (Bennett/Langreth/Chen, 8/13).