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Ebola: Nigeria Approves use of Experimental “Zmapp” Drug



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Abuja (NAN) –  The National Health Research Ethics Committee, Nigeria, has approved the use of an experimental Ebola drug, Zmapp, for treatment of patients infected with the virus.

The committee, which composed research scientists, is a national body under the Federal Ministry of Health.

The endorsement is contained in a statement issued to newsmen by Prof. Clement Adebamowo, Chairman of the committee on Wednesday in Abuja.

The decision by the committee is coming on the heels of Tuesday’s approval by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the use of Zmapp for treatment of Ebola patients.

“It is ethical to use these treatments in the current situation without first submitting an application to National, State or Institutional Health Research Ethics Committee for prior review and approval.

“In addition, the Committee waives the current requirement that international shipment of any biological samples out of Nigeria should be preceded by the establishment of a Materials Transfer Agreement.

“This waiver is to promote rapid international response to this global emergency,’’ the statement said.

In the statement, the Nigerian National Code for Health Research Ethics emphasised that all innovative and non-validated treatments should be carefully and adequately documented.

According to the statement, the documentation can form the basis for clinical trials of the efficacy and side effects of the treatment according to established scientific principles.

In the statement, the ethics committee enjoined all agencies, development partners and research scientists to follow the guideline for the rapid resolution of the current emergency.

“The guideline will contribute to preparedness in case of future occurrences and contribution to scientific knowledge.

“It must be noted that all Phase O and Phase I Clinical Trials that may subsequently be designed for treatment of this infection can be approved only by the National Health Research Ethics Committee,’’ it said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Spencer Platt

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.


  1. bobo

    August 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm


    • Mo

      August 13, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      What does this approval have to do with Obama releasing the drug to Nigeria?

  2. bruno

    August 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Science 1- religion 0

    • TJ

      August 14, 2014 at 7:59 am

      It’s not a competition. Both sides are capable of improving ebola patients’ conditions.

  3. Author Unknown

    August 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    What exactly does this committee of research scientists do? Wait for developed countries to find solutions, and sit down to approve it, even if at the experimental stage? Not that I’m blaming them totally since they probably don’t have funding. Why then does it even exist?

    • ak

      August 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you o..

      Me I’m wondring how they came about this approval.. ZMapp says there’s no more drugs in production… So please how did they test its efficacy?

  4. Editrix

    August 13, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc (the maker of Zmapp) is smiling to the bank. I can’t help but wonder how this disease came about especially as Zmapp was successfully tried on Monkies late year — mind you, this report of this successful trial came out November 2013. Fast forward to Dec 2013, Patient 0 contacts it in a remote african village, 6 months afterwards the virus spreads across West Africa and now everyone is asking for Zmapp. Hmmm.

    I’m not saying anything but someone needs to investigate Mapp Biopharmaceutical. I work in the field of pharmaceutical patents and I know how pharma companies, especially ones with a country’s defence department/army army backings, do dodgy things to get their drugs into the market.

    And yes, Mapp Biopharmaceuticals is backed by the US Army & Defence Department.

    Go figure!

    • TJ

      August 14, 2014 at 8:14 am

      Oh dear God in heaven! Don’t you know any thing about clinical tests on drugs,nonetheless,drugs that weren’t APPROVED by any health body yet at THAT time? Besides this drug was basically given now that countries SIGNED that they’d take the drug with any side effects (that we don’t even know yet) because of the pressure of ebola outbreak. Get YOUR facts straight dude!

    • chu

      August 14, 2014 at 9:13 am

      That’s a conspiracy theory, but one that could have some truth to it. Some people will do anything to get money and relevance. A company can make that decision but I doubt the government of their country will be aware if so. And of course its not like we can trace back to the first victim of the recent Ebola outbreak and get the root cause.

  5. Tosin

    August 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    oh dear, when did we develop such committees?
    I feel better knowing that some medicine will be available now. God bless science.

    Public-service announcement – Music/Entertainment isn’t the only cool thing to do, you could actually find your niche in science too.

  6. deel

    August 13, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Do they have a choice? Mschewww!!

  7. AY

    August 13, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    @bruno, u’re acting like a kid, if u don’t like religion y not keep it to urself instead of comparing it with everythng. Science nd religion are nt competing my dear, both are different

  8. Daisy

    August 13, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    @ Editrix,I am not a pharmacist or doctor . However, I believe the drug is still at the experimental stage, hence the delay to release it into the market. Plus if they have to further research on the drug efficacy and side effects then a lot of time is required. I want to believe that’s how drugs are released into the market. The ebola outbreak in Africa had spurred the drug company into releasing the drug earlier than planned. So even at this stage it is huge a risk but I guess any major side effects is way better than suffering and dying of the ebola virus. # mythoughts #

    • Jane Public

      August 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      If you actually believe that, you will believe anything. This whole oh, it is not well tested yet is part of the dance to hype the cost of the drug. Since Dec 2013, no such mention of Zmapp. Months after, thousands of death, American citizens got infected, suddenly zmpaa is on everybody’s lips. Pull the other leg. Yes, big pharma have been known to create epidemics to sell drugs. The whole world and their mother knows that.

  9. Daisy

    August 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Also why would a drug company produce a drug and infect the African populace with a virus all in a bid to sell the drug. Are there not other infectious diseases they can manufacturer a drug for there by making money?Just wondering.

    • TJ

      August 14, 2014 at 8:18 am

      Thank you! You make MUCH sense than those two!

  10. ib

    August 13, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    In all things let’s give thanks to God and Mapp and stop comparing and contrasting or making assumption..

  11. Alwaysababe

    August 13, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Ok bella I am back. @ ak you can’t talk about “efficacy” here because this drug is still undergoing clinical trial (i.e. undergoing further experiments to test it’s efficacy in various population, age group, race, gender etc and this is what all drugs must undergo before being marketed. For a single drug to be on the market it takes nearly between 15-20 years for the whole process), the norm should be patients who will be receiving this drug should actually fill an informed consent form (meaning that whatever happens they agree that they still want to receive this drug. In which case, most of the time these patients have tried all drugs for their condition which doesn’t work and believe that the particular drug they are filling consent for is their last hope, therefore making them the “guinea pig”) but it does not apply here because there is an outbreak if it works fine, if it doesn’t fine and that can be due to a number of factors such as the patient’s previous medical history, patient using any other concomitant medications that could trigger or complicate things, so it can work both ways and you cannot sue Mapp Bio if anything happens because it is still in trial which is a known fact!
    @ Editrix Well Mapp Bio maybe set-up camp for their trial in Africa (I am not sure about this ooo, just hearing this information for the first time), if we have laws, boundaries & rules & regulations then it won’t have been easy for them to come to an African country to set up camp. They probably did not even dispose off properly the animals they used during clinical trials and probably my african people saw fresh bush meat or monkey meat lying fallow and decided to eat it or do otherwise (which I don’t want to believe, God help us!) and it started from there. How can you blame them but blame a failed system or and an easy prey continent. I am just speculating though but God help us all and continue to watch over us. Ebola is scaring shit out of me!
    @ Bruno I can only pray that you truly encounter God & be delivered (because you weren’t born that way)!
    In other news, Bella you need to start filing your news feed according to months and year. I acutally did stop coming here for a while because I couldn’t do catch-up, I basically got tired of clicking previous page, next page etc. Also I have noticed that anytime you are uploading more news, the system just crashes, I think the gateway is bad. Pls look into this, thanks in advance I still want to keep coming here. Sorry for the long comment.

  12. Koenigin

    August 13, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    >>>> @ everthing Editrix and Jane Public wrote. Many conspiracy theorists have been calling it out on Youtube as soon as the epidemic started to spread but they’ve been quickly dismissed as mental cases.

    Biological and chemical warfare programs orchestrated by “you know who” are real. Just google Wouter Basson, if you think it’s a joke. I don’t know about you people but I’m ready for God to get rid of satan and his agents NOW

    • TJ

      August 14, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Do you even make sense to yourself?!

    • TJ

      August 14, 2014 at 8:23 am

      Cause it doesn’t! Really!

  13. ak

    August 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Thank you for the explanation.

    It was quite unnecessary since i was going along with the comment above me by “Author Unknown”… I was merely making jest of the so-called committee.

    But thank you very much for the explanation. ITK

  14. raymond

    August 13, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Zmapp ur are the hope for survival hope mapp will work for pple suffering from ebola

  15. @edDREAMZ

    August 13, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Well am happy the drug has finally made his way to africa though…..

  16. Godlovesnice

    August 14, 2014 at 12:14 am

    God bles dos who God use to produce dis drug

  17. Iris

    August 14, 2014 at 4:02 am

    LOL… first of all, has ZMAPP reached Nigeria? What are they approving? Secondly, are they implying that if WHO had approved the drug a week ago we’d have been waiting for these guys to do the same? Why didn’t they approve it before WHO did?

  18. spoonfullofsugar

    August 14, 2014 at 11:39 am

    lol. Like we had the option to not approve it!

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