Ebola virus drug approved on mainland for emergency use only

The drug JK-05, which has been in the study phase for five years, has passed pre-clinical testing and a safety test; no Ebola cases reported yet on the mainland

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 September, 2014, 11:51am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 September, 2014, 1:42pm

China’s first drug against Ebola virus disease (EVD) has obtained manufacturing approval for emergency use, a military newspaper reports.

The drug, named JK-05, was developed by Professor Wang Hongquan with the Institute of Microbiological Epidemiology under the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, according to the PLA News.

“JK-05 is a micro-molecular chemical, and its pharmacological mechanism is to selectively contain the RNA polymerase of the Ebola virus to inhibit virus replication,” Wang told the newspaper.

Wang’s study showed JK-05 resisted the replication of Ebola cells in experiments and animal tests.

The drug, after five years of study, has passed pre-clinical testing and the clinical safety test. However, the drug currently is strictly limited for emergency use only, Wang said.

More than 1,500 people in West Africa have recently been killed by EVD. No cases have been reported in China so far, but authorities are on guard and have developed test kits and a treatment plan.

A study published in the journal Nature showed that 18 monkeys treated with ZMapp, an experimental drug, all survived. and three that did not take the drug died.

The ZMapp drug is one of several vaccines and medications being developed. GlaxoSmithKline and the US National Institutes of Health are planning to start human trials of an Ebola vaccine as soon as this week. Inserm, the French national health institute, is talking with Guinea health authorities about human trials of drugs from Fujifilm Holdings and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals.

Watch: What is the Ebola virus?