New Ebola treatment in development

(Washington, D.C. – Insurance News and Markets) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in September that a new treatment for the Ebola virus will proceed in development, thanks to an agreement between several agencies, including the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, of Tarrytown, New York.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is providing up to $38 million over the next two years for development and manufacturing of an experimental monoclonal antibody therapeutic drug. The antibodies in this drug are designated for studies and were created by Regeneron. Using VelociGene and VelocImmune technologies, two proprietary technologies owned by Regeneron, the company created a specialized line of mammalian cells.

The contract allows more of the drug to be created for future development studies and this work supports filing of an investigational drug application with the Food and Drug Administration.

“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.”

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.