NEW YORK – As top medical experts from around the world convene in Geneva to discuss using experimental and alternative treatments to combat the Ebola crisis, the World Health Organization has published a list of therapies and vaccines that are now in government regulatory processes.
As WND reported, dozens of experimental drugs that have shown promise in combating Ebola in humans remain in minimum supply because of a regulatory approval process that in the United States can drag on for years and cost tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars.
In a draft document titled “Potential Ebola Therapies and Vaccines,” the WHO said two promising vaccines have been tested in animals and are about to be tested in early-phase human clinical trials to determine whether they are safe and induce immune responses.
The WHO has invited 197 physicians, medical research scientists, academics, pharmaceutical experts, hospital administrators and government officials to Geneva to discuss deploying experimental treatments and vaccines in West Africa to combat an unprecedented Ebola outbreak.
The participants include representatives of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington.
The WHO draft document included a table listing potential therapies for Ebola, providing information about how the therapy might work, summarizing the research done to date and presenting what is known about the safety, suitability and feasibility of using each therapy in the current outbreak in West Africa.
The WHO ruled out the following as not meeting its threshold for serious consideration: Steroids; Ribavirin; products that could improve clotting (Heparin, Recombinant activated protein C from humans, Recombinant anticoagulant protein c2 from nematode worm (rNAPC2)) and Estrogen Receptor Modulators such as Clomiphene and Toremifene for which no NHP efficacy data exists.
The organization was cautious not to promise too much in listing the many credible alternative therapies and experimental treatments currently being explored by medical scientists worldwide in the effort to combat Ebola.
The document cautioned that the effectiveness of the various therapies and vaccines identified for study is only suggestive, not based on solid scientific data from clinical trials, and that adverse effects of the various therapies and vaccines will not be known until clinical trials are administered to humans.
The WHO also commented that while many efforts are under way to accelerate production, supplies will be limited for several months to come.
WND will cover the outcome of the conference, which concludes Friday.
International medical experts, as WND has previously reported, warn the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is out of control after the WHO drastically underestimated its scope in the early stages.
Currently there are no FDA-approved vaccines for Ebola, according to a health advisory published on the Centers for Disease Control website.