HHS, drugmaker partner on Ebola drug

September 21, 2015

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, New York, are partnering to develop a novel Ebola virus treatment.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, New York, are partnering to develop a novel Ebola virus treatment.

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ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will provide up to a total of $38 million over the next 23 months to support development and manufacturing of the experimental monoclonal antibody therapeutic drug for use in studies. “These monoclonal antibodies bind to a key Ebola viral protein and neutralize the virus, decreasing the amount of virus in the body that the patient's immune system has to fight,” HHS said in a statement.

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Regeneron generated the fully human Ebola monoclonal antibodies using their proprietary VelociGene and VelocImmune technologies, which manufactured the antibodies in a specialized proprietary line of mammalian cells that can be developed quickly.

“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,” explained BARDA Director Robin Robinson, PhD. “Regeneron’s technology facilitated the discovery and development of this monoclonal antibody therapeutic candidate in real time in just nine months as compared to the normal development cycle of several years, and the technology may have potential applications in future public health responses.”

The work conducted through this program will support the filing of an investigational new drug application with FDA. BARDA also could provide an additional $11.3 million to manufacture alternative monoclonal antibodies.

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