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A Promising Experimental Ebola Drug Goes Overlooked

Scanning electron micrograph of the Ebola virus
Scanning electron micrograph of the Ebola virusSource: NIAID

In all the panic and controversy over Ebola, government and public-health authorities seem strangely oblivious to a potential remedy that deserves attention. Sarepta Therapeutics, a biotech company in Cambridge, Mass., has a small supply of an experimental Ebola drug that has shown promising—if very preliminary—results in laboratory trials for safety and effectiveness.

In private meetings, Sarepta has reminded various arms of the U.S. government that the drug, known as AVI-7537, is available in limited quantities—but so far to no avail. Making the situation all the more puzzling, the U.S. government in years past funded Sarepta’s research on Ebola, until the Department of Defense abruptly cut the program for budgetary reasons in 2012.