The News Minute | November 19, 2014 | 3:25 pm IST
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $5.7 million for the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease.
The foundation has decided to support efforts in Guinea and other Ebola-affected countries to scale up the production and evaluation of convalescent plasma and other convalescent blood products as potential therapies for people infected with the Ebola virus.
Various drug candidates will also be evaluated, including the experimental antiviral drug Brincidofovir, the foundation said Tuesday in a statement.
The programme will focus on treatments derived from the blood of survivors.
‚ÄúThe grant will also be used to evaluate new experimental drugs for Ebola,‚ÄĚ said a statement issued by the foundation.
More than 5,000 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak -- almost all of them in West Africa.
There is currently no licensed treatment or vaccine for the Ebola virus. Hospital treatment is based on giving patients intravenous fluids to stop dehydration and antibiotics to fight infections.
There are however several experimental vaccines and drug treatments for Ebola under development, but these have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.
International medical humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) had announced last week that it would host clinical trials in three Ebola treatment centres in West Africa in December.