US Emergency Labs Dedicated to Manufacturing Treatments for Pandemics for the Government May be Called Upon Soon As Potential Treatments for Ebola Develop
Three US research facilities that have been established to make vaccines and therapeutics in the event of a public health emergency have said that they will support the US government if it wishes to increase efforts towards finding a treatment for Ebola.
These facilities, labelled ‘Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (ADM), were set up by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with some private industries, to deal with any epidemics, pandemics, radiological, biological or nuclear threats and disasters.
These facilities are unique in that they have the resources to quickly switch production lines to manufacture therapies.
Brett Giroir, the chief executive of one of these facilities at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, has said of the government arrangement that ‘they know our number and they can call us 24 hours a day… we are prepared.’
These discussions take place with amidst the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has been the worst in history and has already caused 961 deaths.
The World Health Agency is in the process of convening a group of bioethicists to look at issues such as who should decide if experimental vaccine candidates should be used to remedy the current epidemic.
Thus far, Ebola treatments have only been tested on animals. Amongst 3 promising candidates include a combined antibody drug from Mapp Biopharmaceutical, a vaccine from Profectus pharmaceuticals and an RNA-interference drug that has been developed by Vancouver based Tekmira pharmacetuicals, which was given approval to resume safety trials in human volunteers by the FDA last week.
There are three advanced labs in the US dedicated to the US government if treatments for any pandemic are required and requested for. Combined, the centers have the capacity to produce and deliver at least 50 million doses of vaccine against pandemic influenza, the most likely source of a health emergency, within 12 weeks.
If these facilities were ordered to manufacture Ebola vaccines, there would be a much smaller demand. Even if Ebola were to reach the US, 50 million doses would never be required as the disease is not air borne like influenza and therefore not as transmissible.
If an effective and safe vaccine is developed and approved by the FDA, the US government may call upon these centers to manufacture vaccines rapidly to aid health care workers in the outbreak zone in West Africa.
Read more about it here: U.S. emergency labs ready to work on Ebola drugs if asked