Tekmira Stops Testing of Ebola Drug in Sierra Leone

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/ebola-drug-doesnt-help-company-stops-testing-n378756

A Canadian company testing an experimental drug against Ebola has closed down the trial and concluded they cannot say whether the drug helped anyone.

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation had been testing the drug in patients in Sierra Leone, but said it was clear the drug wasn’t showing any benefit to patients. The testing was scheduled to end anyway.

“The Phase II clinical trial of TKM-Ebola-Guinea has reached a predefined statistical endpoint and enrollment has been closed,” the company said in a statement.

No one could say which treatment worked because none of the therapies were given in a controlled clinical trial — one set up to show whether patients did better with the treatment than without it

The drug uses bits of genetic material called small interfering RNAs, or siRNAs for short.

Viruses kill cells by invading them and taking over their machinery to force them to pump out copy after copy of virus. This drug doesn’t prevent infection, but stops the virus from replicating by attaching to its RNA.

Geisbert says it should be a successful approach. He’s afraid other companies testing drugs against Ebola will be scared away from moving forward

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