U.S. authorities have approved a request from Liberia's government to send sample doses of the experimental ZMapp drug to treat Liberian doctors infected with Ebola, the Liberian presidency said.
A statement on the Liberian presidency's website said the drug would be delivered to the West African country this week by a U.S. government representative, after a direct appeal to President Barack Obama on Friday by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
However, a spokesperson for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department said U.S. authorities had simply assisted in connecting the Liberian government with the drug's manufacturer.
ZMapp, produced by California-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical, has already been used to treat two U.S. aid workers and a Spanish priest infected with Ebola.
"Since the drug was shipped for use outside the U.S., appropriate export procedures had to be followed," the HHS spokesperson said, adding the drug company had worked directly with the Liberian government.