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Out of Control

The first documented outbreak of the Ebola virus disease – more commonly known as Ebola – occurred in 1976 in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Nearly 40 years later in 2013, the most widespread outbreak of Ebola in history started in the West African country of Guinea and quickly spread to the neighbouring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

While previous outbreaks were brought under control within a matter of weeks, this one became an epidemic that raged on for over two years, resulting in more than 11,000 deaths and significant social disruption. A number of factors contributed to the failure to control this flare-up, including extreme poverty in the affected areas; a dysfunctional healthcare system in affected countries; a population with enormous distrust of government officials after years of armed conflict; several months of delay in government agency response to the outbreak; and the unprecedented spread of Ebola to densely populated cities.

Even with previous Ebola epidemics on record, there were no licensed vaccines, no treatments with proven efficacy in humans and no diagnostics that met the WHO’s target product profile for a rapid, simple Ebola virus disease test at the start of this spread. The lack of effective treatments, combined with the severity of the breakout, triggered an unprecedented global response to tackle the epidemic that provides a compelling case study for accelerated drug development models.

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goBalto’s Chief Executive Officer Sujay Jadhav has over 20 years of experience with leading Silicon Valley software providers with a life sciences focus. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Strategy and Development at Model N, and held a variety of roles in Strategy Consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton, Product Strategy at CommerceOne and General Management at Singapore Telecom. Sujay received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Australia and an MBA from Harvard University, US.
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