Ebola Treatment Receives $14 Million Dollar Advanced Development Support

Ridgeback Biotherapeutics Ebola therapeutic mAb114 gains BARDA support
Africa (Vax Before Travel)

An investigational treatment for the Ebola virus disease will receive advanced development support of $14 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

In a press release on September 20, 2019, HHS announced ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will provide funding and expertise to Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to manufacture the Ebola therapeutic, mAb114.

mAb114 is a single monoclonal antibody that binds to a virus protein, reducing the ability of the virus from infecting human cells.

Currently, mAb114 is being offered to Ebola patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) under an expanded access protocol led by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease that periodically causes outbreaks in several African countries. The virus is spread by contact with blood or bodily fluids of a person infected with Ebola.

The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50 percent, says the WHO.

“Effective Ebola therapeutics are essential in saving lives not only in the current outbreak in the DRC but also in future outbreaks anywhere in the world and to discourage any potential use of this virus in bioterrorism,” said BARDA Director Rick Bright, Ph.D. 

“Combating this horrific disease requires every tool we can provide to healthcare providers and patients.”

The mAb114 therapeutic product received FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation on September 12, 2019, which helps facilitate development toward the approval of critical medical products by allowing companies to submit parts of their application on a rolling basis and to work more closely with FDA officials throughout the review process.

According to the WHO, since the DRC declared the current Ebola outbreak in August 2018, more than 3,157 cases of Ebola virus disease and 2,108 related deaths have been confirmed.

Recent mAb114 News

Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP is a privately held, majority woman-owned biotechnology company focused on orphan and infectious diseases. To date, all funding for Ridgeback Biotherapeutics has originated from Wayne and Wendy Holman, CEO and co-founder.

"I am very proud of what the Ridgeback team has accomplished in less than a year and we will continue to concentrate on ensuring that mAb114 is available to respond to the current and any future outbreaks. Delivering promising treatments to patients in need is what makes us excited to come to work every day,” said Holman in an August 2019 press release.

In addition to mAb114, BARDA is supporting the advanced development of Ebola therapeutics under public-private partnerships with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. and is working with Merck and Janssen to develop Ebola Zaire preventive vaccines.  

BARDA also directly supports the U.S. government’s response to the outbreak in the DRC.

For more about ASPR and BARDA, visit PHE and to learn more about partnering with BARDA, visit Medical Countermeasures.

Ebola News published by Vax-Before-Travel


Article by
Dani Reiter