Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business


Canada’s Tekmira discussing its Ebola drug with WHO

A picture taken on July 24, 2014 shows staff of the Christian charity Samaritan's Purse putting on protective gear in the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia/AFP

A picture taken on July 24, 2014 shows staff of the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse putting on protective gear in the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia/AFP

MONTREAL, August 14- Canadian lab Tekmira is in contact with the World Health Organization and government agencies over the possible use of its experimental Ebola drug in West Africa, the company said Wednesday.

The epidemic has claimed more than 1,000 lives, mainly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, but has no proven cure or vaccine, prompting authorities to consider experimental options to stem the outbreak.

Tekmira has been in touch with regulatory authorities to evaluate “options for use of our investigational drug within accepted clinical and regulatory protocols,” the company said in a statement.

To that end, Tekmira is holding “discussions with government agencies and NGOs, including the WHO, in various countries on the potential use of TKM Ebola to treat Ebola virus infected individuals.”

The Canadian company developed TKM Ebola under a $140 million contract with the US Defense Department. The laboratory is currently conducting phase one clinical trials on non infected people.

Tests on monkeys have shown the drug provided 100 percent protection from an otherwise lethal dose of Ebola, the company said.

However, so far, TKM Ebola has not been approved as a treatment for humans.

The drug was given a “fast track” designation in March by the US drug regulator, the FDA, but that was later suspended. However, faced with the growing epidemic, the FDA partially lifted its hold on trials, opening the possibility of using the drug on infected patients.

Tekmira chief Mark Murray said Wednesday he had “reasonable confidence we can address the FDA concerns and move forward.”

He refused to give details on production levels or current stocks of the drug, saying just that “obviously we have inventory because we have a clinical study underway.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

And he added “I don’t have an answer” to whether the company could or would increase production.

On Wednesday, Canada supplied the World Health Organization with a thousand doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to try to contain the outbreak.

According to the latest figures from the WHO, 1,069 people have died out of a total of 1,975 confirmed cases.

Guinea on Wednesday declared a state of emergency, following similar declarations from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.

Click to comment

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...