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By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - The worst Ebola outbreak in history is heaping new pressure on U.S. regulators to speed the development of treatments for the deadly virus, which has killed more than 700 people since February. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday said in an emailed statement the agency "stands ready" to work with companies and investigators working with patients "in dire need of treatment." A senior official within FDA told Reuters the agency would consider proposals for providing treatments under special emergency new drug applications, if the benefits of the treatment outweighed the potential safety risks. FDA's statement follow calls by doctors fed up by the lack of progress on Ebola treatments, a market deemed too small to gain much attention by large pharmaceutical companies. Earlier this month, the agency put a hold on a Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp clinical trial of TKM-Ebola, one of the few Ebola treatments advanced enough to be tested in people.
A fresh wave of violence killed dozens in Gaza after the collapse of a UN and US backed ceasefire, officials said Saturday, as Hamas denied it kidnapped an Israeli soldier. A Palestinian delegation was due to arrive in Cairo for talks on the terms of a durable truce, however, even after the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire fell apart within hours starting on Friday. In the violence that ensued, at least 107 Palestinians were killed in Israel air strikes on the Gaza Strip, including 35 since midnight, officials said. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, a member of Israel's security cabinet which met till the early hours of Saturday, accused Hamas of being behind the soldier's disappearance and said the group would pay a high price.