The Ebola victim being treated in Dallas is now receiving an experimental drug after federal authorities gave the go-ahead for its use in emergency cases, the hospital said Monday.
The disclosure that Thomas Eric Duncan began receiving the drug brincidofovir came hours after its maker, Biopharma company Chimerix announced that the antiviral drug has been approved for emergency use in Ebola patients.
"Mr. Duncan remains in critical condition," said Candace White, spokeswoman for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. "His condition is stable. He is now receiving the investigational medication brincidofovir." Duncan contracted Ebola in the West African country of Liberia, but was diagnosed after traveling to the US.
Other Ebola patients soon could also be receiving the drug as a result of the Food and Drug Administration's decision to approve it on a compassionate-use basis.
Brincidofovir joins two other experimental antiviral drugs that have already been deployed in the battle against Ebola.
ZMapp was initially used in a few patients, but the supply of the drug produced by MAP Pharmaceuticals has run out. Tekmira Pharamceutical's TKM-Ebola also has received clearance from the FDA for expanded access by doctors treating Ebola patients. Doctors for another Ebola patient, NBC News freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, said they do not know if he will receive one of those drugs. Mukpo is being treated at a Nebraska hospital after arriving in the U.S. from Liberia on Monday morning.
The disease has killed at least 3,439 people since an outbreak in West Africa in March, according to Reuters.