Sorrento Valley Lab's Ebola Drug Shipped to Liberia

The antibodies in ZMapp were developed by Mapp Bio based in Sorrento Valley outside San Diego along with the U.S. Army and the Public Health Agency of Canada

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A treatment for Ebola developed by a San Diego-based company was headed for patients in Liberia Wednesday, officials confirmed to NBC News.

    Enough ZMapp for two patients arrived in Liberia according to a spokesperson for the Liberian government.

    The antibodies in ZMapp were developed by Mapp Bio, the U.S. Army and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

    The Sorrento Valley lab Mapp Bio used the images created at Scripps to come up with the experimental medicine called ZMapp.

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    As NBC 7's Omari Fleming reports, the work at the Scripps Research Institute appears to have helped save the lives of the two Americans.

    Erica Ollman Saphire, a researcher who worked for a decade to help determine the structure of the Ebola virus, told NBC 7 last week that Mapp Bio was working to ramp up production of the experimental drug cocktail to meet the demand.

    The doses will be transported to Elwa where they will be administered with the consent of two doctors currently suffering from Ebola virus, the government spokesperson said.

    Human consent is necessary because the cocktail of antibodies and proteins has been tested in mice and primates but wasn't supposed to be tested on humans until 2015.

    Ebola has killed more than 1,000 people and sickened nearly 2,000 in the current West African outbreak that has also hit Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria. Many of the dead are health workers, who are often working with inadequate supplies and protection. 

    The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of the virus an international public health emergency.

    Mapp Bio has been operating for 11 years. In all, there are nine employees.

    ZMapp is not FDA-approved. Its use was granted under the FDA's "compassionate use" clause, only given in extraordinary circumstances, and there are only a handful of doses of it available.