In response to the NIH director

I just found a post by Dr. Antony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins on Ebola. So I have added my 2 cents – lets see if it gets accepted and a response from some moderator (..Tax dollars well spent – who would want that job responding to folks like me). There are plenty of smart people in the world and I am not seeing anyone using the great human assets that are out there to identify treatments for ebola.

Dear Dr’s Fauci and Collins,

A full 2 weeks before this post I searched the NIH’s own Pubmed (anyone can do this) and found a study from last year that DTRA funded to screen FDA approved drugs (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23577127)-.. Several drugs (Amodiaquine, Chloroquine, etc ..) were found active and with promising data in mouse models. A Dr. in Haiti then alerted me to another paper with additional compounds (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23785035). It appears there are no shortage of FDA approved drugs that have activity in vitro and in vivo in mouse etc.. there is even a common pharmacophore which I put in the public domain (http://www.collabchem.com/2014/10/02/a-pharmacophore-for-compounds-active-against-ebola/).

It would not take much for any of these drugs to be explored further. I am amazed that all the discussion is on a vaccine / biologics and yet there has been considerable efforts to fund screens of small molecule drugs and they have been largely ignored. I am also saddened by the lack of big pharma response (http://www.collabchem.com/2014/10/08/where-is-the-big-pharma-knight-riding-in-to-slay-ebola/).

We have known about the disease for 40 years and yet we did not have a plan for when it went beyond one village in Africa? That is very surprising to me as a scientist.
There are many questions that someone should answer, like why was the funding for small molecule screening and exploration of the hits/ leads stopped? Why was there no exhaustive effort to screen every FDA approved drug? Why are the existing drugs already on the shelf in Africa not being used? Why is nobody looking at those that are not getting Ebola, is it because they are already taking a medicine that is protecting them?

Food for thought.



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  1. sean says:

    comment is now up on the site

  2. sean says:

    to date not one response to my comment – likely they do not even read their own post comments..most of the comments were just odd

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