Nigeria to get Ebola drug from Japan

2014-09-01 20:20


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Abuja - Nigeria was set to receive the antiviral drug Favipiravir from Japan as a possible Ebola treatment, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

Favipiravir, developed by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Fujifilm Holdings, was available for immediate delivery, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said during an emergency meeting in the capital, Abuja.

The drug was approved to treat the flu by the Japanese health ministry in March. Fujifilm Holdings is in talks with the US Food and Drug Administration to begin clinical testing of Favipiravir as an Ebola treatment.

"It is shown to have strong antiviral property against the Ebola virus" in the lab and in patients, the minister said as the Ebola outbreak continues to accelerate in West Africa with the death toll now estimated at 1 552, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Geneva-based WHO said 3 069 suspected or confirmed cases had been reported in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Enough dosages of Favipiravir to treat about 20 000 patients were available.

Nigeria also applied for the experimental Ebola drug TKM-Ebola, Chukwu said.

TKM-Ebola was tested for safety in a small number of humans, but the trial was halted in January when one volunteer developed moderate gastrointestinal side effects.

Nigeria also offered to participate in clinical trials for two Ebola vaccines, the health minister said.

Success rate

In Liberia, two Ebola-infected health workers who were treated with the experimental drug ZMapp have recovered, the health ministry said on Monday.

A third physician treated there with ZMapp, Abraham Dorbor, died last week.

The two doctors who recovered, a Nigerian and a Ugandan working in Liberia, had received ZMapp treatment since 10 August, ministry spokesperson John Sumo said. They were discharged from a treatment centre in the capital, Monrovia, at the weekend.

Two US health workers, Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who had contracted Ebola in Liberia, were discharged in mid-August from a hospital in Atlanta, where they had been treated with ZMapp.

Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, however, died from Ebola in a Madrid hospital after his evacuation from Liberia despite also receiving ZMapp.

Ebola causes massive haemorrhaging and is transmitted through contact with blood and other bodily fluids. If left untreated, it has a fatality rate of up to 90%.

Read more on:    zmapp  |  japan  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  ebola

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.