San Diego Firm's Experimental Treatment Used On Ebola Patient In Germany
A San Diego-based maker of medical devices announced today that its experimental blood filtration system is being used to treat an Ebola patient in Germany.
The Ugandan doctor who contracted the often-fatal disease is at a hospital in Frankfurt, where he is attached to a Hemopurifier, which is made by Aethlon Medical. The physician became sickened while in Sierra Leone, one of the African nations that has suffered a severe outbreak of Ebola.
The device is fitted into a dialysis machine, which filters blood for people with kidney disease.
In the case of Ebola, it removes from the bloodstream viruses, plus the proteins that suppress the immune system, according to the company.
"We thank the physicians in Frankfurt for allowing us the opportunity to treat this advanced-stage patient," said Jim Joyce, the founder and CEO of Aethlon Medical. "Details related to the patient's response to therapy will be disclosed once hospital officials deem it appropriate to report an update on the condition of this individual."
Aethlon Medical is the second San Diego firm to become involved in fighting this year's outbreak of Ebola, which has killed more than 4,000 people in Africa and led to the first reported infections in the United States.
Two Americans working in West Africa were given ZMapp, which is made by Mapp Biopharmaceutical in Sorrento Valley. Both patients recovered.
USA Today reported that Kentucky BioProcessing, which makes ZMapp under a contract with Mapp Biopharmaceutical, is ramping up production of the experimental drug.
Aethlon Medical recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin safety testing for the hemopurifier. The company believes the device can also be used to treat HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.
According to the firm, researchers at the Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have used the device to reduce the amount of Ebola in blood donated for testing. The device has also been tested successfully on about 100 HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C patients in India, the company reported.