NEW INFORMATION: FDA lifts hold on experimental Ebola drug

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal health authorities have eased safety restrictions on an experimental drug to treat Ebola, a move that could clear the way for its use in patients infected with the deadly virus.

Canadian drugmaker Tekmira Pharmaceuticals said the Food and Drug Administration modified a hold recently placed on the company's drug. The company has a $140 million contract with the U.S. government to develop its drug TKM-Ebola, which targets the genetic material of Ebola. But last month the FDA halted a small study of the injection in humans due to safety concerns.

Tekmira said Thursday the agency "verbally confirmed" changes to the hold that may allow the company to make the drug available to patients.

Currently there are no licensed drugs or vaccines for the disease.
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A U.S. health official warns that the current Ebola crisis in West Africa is on pace to sicken more people than all other previous outbreaks of the disease combined.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the outbreak is unprecedented in part because it's in a region of Africa that never has dealt with Ebola before. He says the outbreak's two main drivers are lax infection control during patient care and risky burial practices.

He told a congressional hearing Thursday that the outbreak can be stopped with tried-and-true public health measures -- but it will be laborious.

Frieden says it's possible a traveler could arrive in the U.S. infected with Ebola, but he is confident there will not be a large Ebola outbreak here.


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