ASU prof named world’s ‘most creative’ for Ebola drug-
The research done at ASU has led to a vaccine that’s helping the Ebola patients in the U.S.
ASU professor Charles Arntzen’s experimental Ebola treatment may have saved the lives of two Americans. For that, he’s earned the top spot in Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.”
Charles Arntzen worked for years on a treatment for Ebola, slowly gaining steam, but then suddenly Ebola became the word on everyone’s lips.
His invention went from untested to injected in two American Ebola patients in a moment’s notice.
Arizona State University Professor Charles Arntzen beat out actors, musicians, artists and entrepreneurs to take the No. 1 spot on Fast Company’s list of “100 Most Creative People in Business” thanks to his role in developing the drug. Fast Company is a magazine about technology, business and design.
Arntzen, a Regents’ professor and researcher at ASU’s Biodesign Institute, launched a study on a tobacco-derived drug to treat Ebola in the early 2000s.
That became ZMapp, which had only been tested on animals until government officials authorized its use on infected American health-care workers in Liberia.
The 2014 Ebola epidemic was the largest in history, infecting 24,000 and killing more than 10,000, according to the World Health Organization. Both ZMapp patients recovered quickly.
ZMapp “is currently the most promising drug treatment for people infected with Ebola,” according to the Fast Company article.
Arntzen developed the drug through “pharming” – a mix of “farming” and “pharmaceuticals” – by genetically engineering tobacco plants.
“Although the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has slowed, the threat of recurrence is real—and the risk of similar epidemics may be increasing. Pharming, which is now getting support from Big Pharma, could be the key to responding to future threats, providing a large supply of drugs or vaccines at epidemic speed.,” Fast Company wrote.