Ebola outbreak: Scientists believe they've found life-saving drug according to study results

Ebola health workers July 2019

Ebola health workers July 2019

He added, "A long-running outbreak like this takes a awful toll on the communities affected and it is a sign of just how hard this epidemic has been to control that there have already been enough patients treated to tell us more about the efficacy of these four drugs".

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in addition to limiting therapeutics to REGN-EB3 and mAb114, patients who were randomized to ZMapp or remdesivir in the last 10 days now have the option, at the discretion of their treating physician, to receive either REGN-EB3 or mAb114.

The drugs improved survival rates from the disease more than two other treatments being tested - ZMapp, made by Mapp Biopharmaceutical, and Remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences (GILD.O) - and those products will be now dropped, said Anthony Fauci, one of the researchers co-leading the trial. About 11,310 people died in what was the largest outbreak of the virus ever recorded.

In contrast, 49 percent on ZMapp and 53 percent on Remdesivir died in the study, the agency said. In comparison, 29% of the patients on REGN-EB3 and 34% on mAb-114 died.

"From now on, we will no longer say that Ebola is incurable", said Prof Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the director general of the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale in DRC, which has overseen the trial.

"What this means is that we do now have what look like (two) treatments for a disease for which not long ago we really had no approach at all", he said.

On Friday, the DSMB recommended that all future patients be given either REGN-EB3 or mAB114 after they reviewed the results.

In comparison, two-third of the patients who got remdesivir and almost three-fourth on ZMapp survived. Violence in the region has limited efforts to fight the outbreak.

More than 1,800 people have died in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since Ebola broke out there in August previous year.

But it is dwarfed by the West African epidemic of 2014-16, which affected 28,616 people mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) co-ordinated the trial, which began in November a year ago.

Mike Ryan, head of the WHO's emergencies programme, said the trial's positive findings were encouraging but would not be enough on their own to bring the epidemic to an end.

Hailing the success of the study, Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity, said the treatments would "undoubtedly save lives".

The latest trial demonstrates 'you can dramatically diminish the mortality, ' said Mr Fauci, 'but getting rid of the Ebola virus becomes a case of prevention, of how you could prevent this from spreading.

The Congo treatment trial is being carried out by an worldwide research group co-ordinated by WHO.

As of August 9, 2019, the trial had enrolled 681 patients toward an enrollment of 725 individuals from 4 treatment centers in Beni, Katwa, Butembo, and Mangina.

"The preliminary results in 499 study participants indicated that individuals receiving REGN-EB3 or mAb114 had a greater chance of survival compared to participants in the other two arms".

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.