Speed Reads

Ebola

The U.S. is increasing production of ZMapp, but it might not be enough

The Department of Health and Human Services is increasing its production of ZMapp, the leading experimental drug that's been used to treat those infected with Ebola in West Africa.

The New York Times reports that federal officials are in talks with Caliber Biotherapeutics, a Texas-based drug manufacturer, to produce ZMapp. An anonymous federal official told the Times that the government is considering several manufacturers, including Caliber. But ZMapp supplies may be limited to hundreds of thousands of treatment courses, which may not be enough if the current Ebola outbreak "continues to spiral out of control," according to the Times.

While Nigeria has contained its Ebola outbreak, the disease is spreading in Sierra Leone. Experts told the Times that it is "impossible to tell" how well ZMapp is working from its limited use thus far. But because ZMapp uses a combination of three different antibodies, it "may offer the best shot" at defeating Ebola, the experts noted.