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Gates Foundation Gives $5.7 Million to Help Develop Ebola Cure

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $5.7 million towards the fight against Ebola, specifically focused on finding a cure for the disease through plasma collected from the blood of survivors.

In a statement on Tuesday, the foundation said it will work with a host of private sector organizations focused on producing and researching a potential remedy with guidance from the World Health Organization.

Dr. Papa Salif Sow, a senior program officer and infectious diseases expert with the foundation’s Global Health Program, said the funding was for research and development efforts on potential cures that could be quickly delivered if proven effective.

“We are committed to working with Ebola-affected countries to rapidly identify and scale up potential lifesaving treatments for Ebola,” he said.

Potential donors will undergo tests to ensure their blood is completely free of Ebola and other diseases before their plasma — the liquid portion of the blood that contains antibodies — is separated out to study and develop.

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Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi.iyengar@timeasia.com