Government of Canada strengthens Ebola preparedness for Canadians

Contract signed to manufacture ZMappTM to help protect Canadians

OTTAWA, June 10, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, and Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Gregory Taylor, today announced a $4.5 million USD contract between the Government of Canada and Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc. to manufacture a number of courses of ZMappTM monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment for Ebola.

The ZMappTM treatment, developed by Mapp Biopharmaceutical, uses two mAbs discovered by scientists at the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and one mAb discovered by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). ZMappTM has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical trials in the United States and West Africa and has shown promise when used to treat infected individuals.

This contract with Mapp Biopharmaceutical secures Canada's access to this Ebola treatment.

Access to the ZMappTM Ebola treatment will complement the Government of Canada's overall Ebola preparedness and response activities. These activities also include funding for clinical trials for Canada's VSV-EBOV Ebola vaccine, strengthened border measures to screen travellers, and domestic Ebola Rapid Response Teams. These and other initiatives ensure Canada's ability to respond quickly to safeguard the health of Canadians in the event a case of Ebola should occur in Canada.

The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting international efforts to control the Ebola outbreak and to ensuring that appropriate precautions and measures are in place to protect Canadians.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada has committed a total of more than $110 million to support health, humanitarian, and security interventions to address the spread of the disease and for further research and development of Ebola medical countermeasures.
  • Mapp Biopharmaceutical is a US based company that develops novel pharmaceutical products for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, focusing on unmet needs in global health and biodefence.
  • As these innovative experimental treatments are experimental and not yet authorized for commercial use, they would only be used for emergency compassionate use to treat a patient once they have contracted Ebola.
  • Ebola treatments that use mAbs are designed and engineered to find, attach and effectively coat the Ebola virus preventing replication and multiplication of the virus in the body. This allows the body time to mount the appropriate immune response and recover from the infection.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada and its National Microbiology Laboratory have deployed more than 40 personnel to West Africa. These specialists each bring different expertise to support the outbreak response, including emergency management, epidemiology, and border health and, in the case of laboratory staff, provide diagnostic capabilities to rapidly detect Ebola cases and provide clinical information to organizations responding to the Ebola outbreak.

Quotes

"Canada has dedicated considerable resources to support health, humanitarian and security efforts on Ebola at home and abroad. Investing in this promising technology strengthens our capacity to respond quickly to protect the health of Canadians."
Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

"This is an important element in our Ebola domestic preparedness efforts and showcases scientific innovation in Canada.  This solution will enhance the ability to produce and supply Ebola treatments for emergency use."
Dr. Gregory Taylor
Chief Public Health Officer  

"We are pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada. While we are committed to supplying clinical studies in West Africa, we look forward to providing ZMappTM to assist with Canada's preparedness."
Dr. Kevin Whaley
CEO, Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc.

 

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, (613) 957-2983

RELATED LINKS
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

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