Ebola has found a foothold in West Africa and has recently made its way to Europe and the United States (in small numbers). So what has the pharmaceutical industry been up to as this pandemic has widened? And just who has the most promising leads on beating Ebola?
While most cures and vaccines require years of development and testing, many doctors are looking toward plasma-based therapies to use in the current outbreak. In its simplest form, that could mean a blood transfusion from an Ebola survivor – blood rich in antibodies that can help fight the infection. CSL Ltd (CSL:AU), a company that specializes such therapies, is currently testing whether it can purify such anti-body rich plasma and develop it into a form that offers an accelerated immunity boost. This endeavor is taking place with the backing of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has donated a total of $50 million dollars to fighting Ebola. Last year, CSL Ltd. earned $1,216 million in net profits. If they are successful in fighting Ebola, that number could increase dramatically.