Thursday, 16 October 2014

China Sends Ebola Drug To Africa



A Chinese drugmaker with military ties has sent an experimental Ebola drug to Africa for use by Chinese aid workers and is planning clinical trials there to combat the disease, executives at the firm told Reuters on Thursday.

As reported by Reuters, Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd has supplied several thousand doses of its drug JK-05 to the region, Chief Operating Officer Jia Zhongxin said. More doses could be sent if needed, Jia said.

Governments and drugmakers around the world have been racing to find a treatment for the outbreak, which has spread as far as the United States and Europe. U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to get more "aggressive" against the disease.

"Aid workers have already taken the drug with them, and if a case breaks out (amongst the aid workers), then the drug may be used," added Huo Caixia, Sihuan's assistant general manager.
Sihuan, part-owned by U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley, is hoping to get the drug fast-tracked for civilian use in China. It has signed an agreement with the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS), a research unit, to seek approval for the drug's use in China and push it to market.

The drug, approved in China for emergency military use only, was initially developed by AMMS.
If it proves to be an effective cure it would be a big prize for China's medical sector and a boost to China's soft power in Africa, an increasingly important partner for the world's second-biggest economy.

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