16:44 GMT28 May 2020
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    The US government will donate $38 million to the pharmaceutical company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to create and distribute a cure for Ebola.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US government will donate $38 million to the pharmaceutical company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals over the next two years to create and distribute a cure for Ebola, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a release.

    "ASPR’s [Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response] Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will provide up to a total of $38 million over the next 23 months to support development as well as manufacturing of the experimental monoclonal antibody therapeutic drug for use in studies," the release read on Monday.

    The latest Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in 2013, spreading later to Liberia and Sierra Leone, with about 28,220 cases and 11,291 reported deaths.

    In August, Sierra Leone marked 42 days without a new case being registered, which allowed the country to claim itself Ebola-free according to World Health Organziation (WHO) guidelines. However, later more people became infected.

    The HHS said the cure features monoclonal antibodies attaching themselves to an Ebola viral protein and destroying the virus in an attempt to decrease the amount of Ebola in the body and allow the immune system to fight back.

    "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," BARDA Director Dr. Robin Robinson said.

    Previously, BARDA has worked with the US government to create antibody and therapeutic drugs in order to prevent public health disease outbreaks.

    On Wednesday, five cases of Ebola registered in Sierra Leone during the week ending September 13, according to the WHO.

    There is no officially registered vaccine against Ebola, but the United Kingdom, Canada and Russia are conducting tests on their own vaccines against the virus.


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