Experimental Ebola treatments are to be reviewed by a specialist group at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as part of the international response to the disease outbreak in West Africa.
There are currently no approved treatments for Ebola, but a number of potential therapies are in development and some clinical trials have been fast-tracked so that patients can access effective drugs more quickly.
A group of experts from the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) is collating and reviewing all the available evidence on these drugs to help health authorities make sound judgements on which treatments to use. The CHMP will not be reviewing vaccines designed to prevent Ebola.
The EMA has identified seven companies developing six treatments: Biocryst, developing BCX 4430; Fab’entech, developing hyperimmune horse sera; MAPP Biologicals, developing ZMAPP; Sarepta, developing Sarepta AVI-7537; Toyama Chemicals and MediVector inc, jointly developing favipiravir; and Tekmira, developing TKM-Ebola. Manufacturers have been asked to submit their data to the EMA.
The EMA says that the review will support the World Health Organization (WHO) in providing advice.
On 28 August 2014, the WHO issued a roadmap designed to scale up international efforts to fight the disease, which has so far claimed at least 2,600 lives.