News

Obama administration setting up group on experimental Ebola drugs

Obama administration setting up group on experimental Ebola drugs

OUTBREAK: In this photo provided by the Spanish Defense Ministry, aid workers and doctors transfer Miguel Pajares, a Spanish priest who was infected with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, from a plane to an ambulance as he leaves the Torrejon de Ardoz military airbase, near Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 7. Pajares was in stable condition at a Madrid hospital on Thursday after being evacuated from Liberia, health officials said. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is forming a special Ebola working group to consider setting policy for the potential use of experimental drugs to help the hundreds infected by the deadly disease in Africa, an official said on Thursday.

The group will include scientists and other officials from such government health agencies as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Fauci said in an interview he was unsure when the group would first meet or who would be represented, but added: “I’m sure they’ll tap people from NIAID with competence in clinical trials.”

The group was being formed under Dr. Nicole Lurie, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services, an administration official said.

Expertise in clinical trials, in which patients receive an experimental drug under scientifically rigorous conditions, is crucial, Fauci said.

“You need to balance compassion with the need to figure out if something actually works,” he said, referring to the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp, from Mapp Biopharmaceutical, which was given to two American aid workers before they were airlifted from Liberia to Emory University Hospital.

(Reporting by David Morgan and Sharon Begley; editing by Michele Gershberg and G Crosse)

Latest Headlines

in Local

Maine Home Sales Rise in September

Fresh
Newsradio WGAN

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Sales of existing Maine homes rose 6.58 percent last month.

in Local

Man who Fired Shots with Kids Nearby Gets 18 Years

GENERIC PRISON LARGE

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A Maine man accused of chasing and firing at another man as children were preparing to catch their school bus is going to prison for 18 years for being a felon in possession of ammunition.

in Local

Report of Grenade Prompts Maine Motel Evacuation

Newsradio WGAN

SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) _ The Maine State Police bomb squad has been called to a Skowhegan motel following a report that a grenade was found.

in Local

Maine Police Investigating Bathtub Death of Baby

GENERIC POLICE CRUISERS

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) _ Maine police are investigating the death of a baby found unresponsive in the bathtub of a Lewiston apartment.

in Local

Maine Unemployment Up Slightly in September

UNEMPLOYMENT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Maine officials say seasonally adjusted unemployment rose slightly in the state from August to September.