Doctor Recovering From Ebola Got Experimental Tekmira Drug

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

A medical missionary recovering from Ebola infection in Nebraska was given an experimental drug made by a Canadian company, his doctors said Monday. They’d already said that Dr. Rick Sacra got transfusions of serum from recovered Ebola patient Dr. Kent Brantly. They also had revealed that he got a weeklong treatment course of an experimental drug but had not said what drug it was.

"Although the FDA just authorized Tekmira to provide TKM-Ebola for treatment under expanded access protocols to patients with the Ebola virus, there's still a very short supply,” said Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at The Nebraska Medical Center. Smith and his colleague Dr. Angela Hewlett said there's no way to tell what has led to Sacra’s recovery. He also got what’s called supportive care, which includes replacing fluids and important minerals lost to the vomiting and diarrhea caused by Ebola infection. "We don't know if it was Dr. Sacra's own immune system, the supportive therapy we provided, the blood transfusion from Dr. Brantly, TKM-Ebola or a combination off all these factors that helped Dr. Sacra recover,” Hewlett said. “What's important is that we pool all of our treatment resources and continue to study what is most effective in treating the virus."



— Maggie Fox