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Cambridge Company Ready To Deploy New Ebola Drug

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – As the Ebola crisis continues to worsen in West Africa, a Cambridge Biotech company is developing ways to help in the fight.

Sarepta Therapeutics has developed an Ebola treatment that was very effective in monkeys, just like the drug currently being given to two American aid workers in Atlanta. The pair of workers was flown there after they contracted the virus while helping in West Africa.

“We’re ready to deploy this drug if it’s needed,” says Sarepta’s Chris Garabedian. “We have the drug materials to be able to produce enough courses of therapy for upwards of a hundred patients.”

Sarepta has a small amount of its own drug on-hand right now, and have been in touch with the FDA and the CDC.

The company says it is ready to ramp up production and that, if needed, their treatment would probably get a green light for “emergency use” authorization.

Just like the drug currently being used in Atlanta, this one has only been tested on monkeys – but with success.

According to Garabedian: “We show survival rates up to sixty to eighty percent. Where the control group that’s not treated, you see a hundred percent mortality.”

The company says their drug’s potential benefit, in the face of an outbreak of Ebola, makes its use on humans worth any potential risk.

“We don’t know until it’s actually used in a patient with the virus,” Garabedian says, “but all of the data we’ve seen to date suggests it would have a good chance of working.”

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