Canada, Mapp Biopharmacuetical enter Ebola treatment contract

The Ebola virus
The Ebola virus | Courtesy of the CDC
The Canadian government has awarded a $4.5 million contract to Mapp Biopharmacuetical Inc. to develop their ZMapp treatment for the Ebola virus, Minister of Health Rona Ambrose said Wednesday.

The ZMapp treatment is based on the development of antibodies that have been shown to be effective in preclinical trials with animal models. The treatment is in its clinical trial phase in the U.S. and West Africa, but because this is an experimental treatment it can only be authorized for emergency use.

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

The contract, which ensures that Canadian citizens would have access to the treatment from the company should an outbreak occur, is part of a larger effort to bolster the country's overall preparedness and response to Ebola.

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

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