PNAS Study Details ZMapp Mechanism Against Ebola

ZMapp, which has been developed by Mapp Biopharmaceutical, was successful in 5 of 7 Ebola-infected patients; but the mechanism of it's action in those patients was not very clear.

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified weak spots on the surface of Ebola virus that are targeted by the antibodies in ZMapp, the experimental drug cocktail administered to several patients during the recent Ebola outbreak.

The study, led by TSRI structural biologists Andrew Ward and Erica Ollmann Saphire and published online ahead of print this week by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides a revealing 3-D picture of how the ZMapp antibodies bind to Ebola virus.

"The structural images of Ebola virus are like enemy reconnaissance," said Saphire. "They tell us exactly where to target antibodies or drugs."

Ward said, "Now that we know how ZMapp targets Ebola, we can compare all newly discovered anti-Ebola antibodies as we try to formulate an even better immunotherapeutic cocktail."

Link to the report on ScienceDaily: