There’s sad news overnight, as one of the three Ebola stricken Liberian doctors who received a dose of ZMapp – an experimental monoclonal antibody cocktail produced in the United States – has suddenly died.
Doctor Abraham Borbor, Deputy Chief of Medicine at John F. Kennedy Medical Centre in Monrovia, appeared to be improving after receiving the drug a little over a week ago, and was described as `walking around’ yesterday, but his condition deteriorated unexpectedly last night.
Two others - Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have made full recoveries – while two more Liberian doctors who were given the drug continue to improve in Monrovia. While early reports on this drug have been encouraging (see WHO Update: Anecdotal Evidence On Experimental Ebola Drugs), with only 6 cases treated, there is too little data to reach any firm conclusions regarding its efficacy or safety.
This report from DPA (Deutsche Presse-Agentur).
August 25, 2014 4:22 pm
Cape Town - A Liberian doctor died of Ebola despite being treated with the experimental drug ZMapp, local newspaper Front Page Africa reported on Monday.
Abraham Borbor was one of three doctors who received ZMapp in Liberia. He became infected with the virus when treating Ebola patients at the John F. Kennedy Medical Centre in the capital, Monrovia.
Information Minister Lewis Brown said Borbor’s death late on Sunday came as a shock.
The supply of ZMapp has been temporarily exhausted, and it may be months before more can be created in the lab.
While there are a handful of other investigational drugs out there, they are untested in humans, and are also in very short supply. There are also serious logical and ethical challenges ahead in the distribution and use of any untested therapies (see WHO: Full Report Of Ethics Committee On Experimental Drugs For Ebola).
For more on ZMapp you may wish to revisit CDC FAQ On Experimental Ebola Treatments & Vaccine Development.