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New study reveals how ZMapp therapy attacks Ebola and suggests strategies to improve it

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

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

3-D picture of how the ZMapp antibodies bind to Ebola virus
The new study provides a 3-D picture of how the antibodies in the experimental drug Zmapp bind to Ebola virus.

Image courtesy of the Ward lab, The Scripps Research Institute.

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In addition to Ward, Saphire and Murin, the authors of the paper “Structures of protective antibodies reveal sites of vulnerability on Ebola virus” were Marnie L. Fusco and Zachary A. Bornholdt of TSRI; Xiangguo Qiu of the Public Health Agency of Canada; Gene G. Olinger of the National Institutes of Health; Larry Zeitlin of Mapp Biopharmaceutical; and Gary P. Kobinger of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the University of Manitoba.

Funding for the research was provided by the National Institutes of Health (R01AI067927 and U19AI109762), the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (GM103310), the National Science Foundation, the Ray Thomas Edwards Foundation and the Burroughs Welcome Fund.

Scripps Research Institute