New Ebola Drug Advances in Development

ASPR and BARDA are working together to fund a new monoclonal antibody drug.

The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has reached an agreement with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Tarrytown, N.Y., to advance the development of an Ebola virus disease treatment based on three monoclonal antibodies.

According to a report from HHS, ASPR's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will provide a total of $38 million over 23 months to support development and manufacturing of the drug for use in studies. The monoclonal antibodies bind to a key Ebola viral protein and eliminate the virus, thereby decreasing the amount of virus in the body.

Regeneron was able to generate the antibodies using VelociGene and VelocImmune technologies, which created the antibodies.

"The world has experienced the worst Ebola epidemic in history; by rapidly developing therapeutics and vaccines with nimble technologies, we may save lives and bring future outbreaks under control more quickly," explained BARDA Director Robin Robinson, Ph.D. "Regeneron's technology facilitated the discovery and development of this monoclonal antibody therapeutic candidate in real time in just nine months as compared to the normal development cycle of several years, and the technology may have potential applications in future public health responses."

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