Orlando company helps treat amoeba case

FOX 35 News at 5 p.m.

- Yet another Floridian is batting a brain-eating amoeba, but an Orlando-based company may have found the cure.

Orlando's Profounda, Inc. delivered their new drug, Impavido, to the patient.  Company CEO Todd MacLaughlan, hopes to turn the tables on this bug.

"Of the patients who've survived, the four we've talked about, two of them were on Impavido. So there is evidence supporting use of Impavido in these cases," MacLaughlan said.

About half the ponds and streams have this bacteria swimming around. If they happen to get inside your nasal passage they could kill you within days.

"The prognosis is not very good. It's about 97 percent of not making it through. Depending on how things progress, within 10-14 days the patient has usually died,” MacLaughlan said.

His goal is to get the drug stocked in hospitals around the country. One of those medicines they may never need to use - but may save lives in the rare case this bacteria strikes.

“The hospitals are doing the right thing. They're basically making sure the drug is on-site so if they need to use it, there's no additional waiting time, they can use it quickly as possible, because hours matter,” MacLaughlan said.

Hours that young Jordan Smelski didn't get. The Sanford boy died two years ago from the amoeba after swimming in a hot spring. His father, Steve, says access to Impavido is critical.

"So it's possible to save them, but the drug needs to be nearby and close,” he said.

MacLaughlan supplies it to any hospital at no cost, getting paid only if the drugs are actually used. He says his company makes money from their other medicines, and Impavido is purely aimed at saving lives.

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