Nigerian doctor and Ebola survivor travels to San Antonio to give blood sample

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BioBridge Global is the first stop for a Nigerian doctor who survived the Ebola virus to donate a blood sample and possible participate in medical research aimed at treating victims of the devastating disease. BioBridge Global subsidiary South Texas Blood & Tissue Center will draw the blood of Dr. Fadipe and sister affiliate QualTex Laboratories will screen the sample to see if he qualifies for a research project underway at Austin-based biotechnology firm XBiotech.

South Texas Blood & Tissue Center technician Melodie Montgomery draws the blood of Dr. Akinniyi Emmanuel Fadipe

“I wish to participate in any way... If traveling to Texas and giving some drops of blood will help, it is a small price to pay,”

A Nigerian doctor who survived the Ebola virus visited BioBridge Global in San Antonio on Tuesday, Feb. 24, to donate a blood sample and possibly participate in medical research aimed at treating victims of the devastating disease.

A team from the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center drew the blood of Dr. Akinniyi Emmanuel Fadipe of Nigeria, and sister affiliate QualTex Laboratories screened the sample to see if he qualifies for a research project underway at Austin-based biotechnology firm XBiotech. STBTC and QualTex are subsidiaries of BioBridge Global.

If Dr. Fadipe is eligible for the project, the doctor then will donate a unit of blood in Austin at XBiotech on Thursday, Feb. 26. An STBTC team will travel to Austin to draw his blood, and XBiotech researchers will use it to continue efforts in finding a therapeutic for the Ebola virus. The researchers are searching for a treatment using antibodies in the blood of Ebola survivors.

Dr. Fadipe was part of the team that treated the first case of Ebola in Nigeria. He and three colleagues from First Consultants Medical Centre in Lagos contracted the virus and survived; four of their coworkers died.

“We are beyond honored to be a part of this research with Dr. Fadipe and XBiotech,” said Dr. Rachel Beddard, medical director for BioBridge Global. “This physician was in the trenches, treating Ebola patients at ground zero in Nigeria. His knowledge and experience make his visit to San Antonio to participate in this study all the more important.”

The research involves taking whole blood from Ebola survivors to identify the antibody for the virus and eventually reproduce it. This method could result in the ability to manufacture a therapeutic on a large scale to help treat those affected by the disease.

Dr. Fadipe and his team in Lagos established protocols that were called instrumental in sparing Nigeria from a large-scale Ebola outbreak. In September of last year, the World Health Organization said the nation, which is the most populous in Africa, was free of Ebola.

“I wish to participate in any way I can in finding a cure for this horrible disease that has ravished my continent. If traveling to Texas and giving some drops of blood will help, it is a small price to pay,” Dr. Fadipe said.

This is the second time in as many months that BioBridge Global has participated in a project supporting Ebola research. In January, an STBTC team traveled to longtime partner XBiotech to draw the blood of Dallas nurse and Ebola survivor Amber Vinson. Her blood also came back to San Antonio to be tested by QualTex Laboratories.

About BioBridge Global: BioBridge Global (BBG) is a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit organization that offers diverse services in regenerative medicine through its subsidiaries. Its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories and GenCure – provide products and services in blood banking, cellular therapy, umbilical cord blood and donated human tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide. BBG is rooted in the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, which has a proud history of serving the South Texas region and beyond for more than 40 years. BBG is committed to supporting groundbreaking research, addressing unmet clinical needs and enabling the development and commercialization of novel biotechnology products. Visit us at biobridgeglobal.org.

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Carmen Davila
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