Race With a Killer

A Dallas doctor believes he holds a miracle treatment for a disease that maims and kills children. Proving it will take another miracle.

"We felt, and continue to feel, that to do another study of meningococcemia would be very, very difficult to do because frankly there was nothing we could have done to accrue patients more quickly," Scannon says. "In other words, there is just a certain amount of paperwork it takes to legally conduct a proper clinical trial, and so it wasn't as if looking back on it we hit our hand on our forehead and said, 'Oh, my God, we could have done this better.'

"When the drug is approved and you don't have all this paperwork, it can be used as soon as the person hits the door. In fact, it could be used before they left Tyler, Texas, because it could be in Tyler, Texas, too," Scannon says. "In a clinical trial setting, we couldn't put Neuprex everywhere in the world. We had to take our best guesses and put it wherever we thought it should go."

Sitting in his office almost two years to the day since the final results of the study were made public, Brett Giroir recounts the efforts to get Neuprex into the hands of doctors everywhere. He is clearly just as convinced that Neuprex has a profound effect on meningococcal sepsis now as he was after Tashica was infused with Neuprex seven years ago.

Dr. Brett Giroir, chief medical officer at Children's 
Medical Center of Dallas, believes Neuprex can save 
lives and limbs. Proving that to regulators has so far 
been impossible.
Mark Graham
Dr. Brett Giroir, chief medical officer at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, believes Neuprex can save lives and limbs. Proving that to regulators has so far been impossible.
Tashica Jimmerson's recovery after she became the 
first person to receive Neuprex for meningococcal 
sepsis was so remarkable that she made the cover of 
manufacturer XOMA's annual report in 1995. Even 
with treatment, Jimmerson lost parts of her fingers to 
the illness, but her mother, Connie, shown at left with 
her daughter, is convinced the drug helped spare her 
life.
Mark Graham
Tashica Jimmerson's recovery after she became the first person to receive Neuprex for meningococcal sepsis was so remarkable that she made the cover of manufacturer XOMA's annual report in 1995. Even with treatment, Jimmerson lost parts of her fingers to the illness, but her mother, Connie, shown at left with her daughter, is convinced the drug helped spare her life.

"There were people who believed that based on those data the drug should have gotten some kind of approval," he says. "You have a drug that may or may not work, but it has no side effects and the alternative is no arms or no legs or a dead child? Yeah, I'll take that compared to all the other really experimental things we do in the ICU to try to rescue these kids."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...