Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Ebola cure in sight as new drugs gives ‘90% survival rate’

Ebola cure in sight as new drugs gives ‘90% survival rate’

The preliminary findings prompted an early halt to a major study on the drugs and a decision to prioritize their use in the African country, where a yearlong outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people.

They showed better results in patients in a trial of four potential treatments being conducted during the world's second largest Ebola outbreak in history, now entering its second year in DRC. These advances will help save thousands of lives.

Known as REGN-EB3 and mAb114, the treatments are now being offered to all Ebola patients in the Congo, and the other two have stopped entirely.

"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.

Ebola is a virus that is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids of someone who is ill with the virus or died from it, or through blood, body fluids or tissues of infected fruit bats or primates, the CDC states.

The response to the epidemic has been hampered by violence, including attacks on humanitarian and medical personnel, prompting the UN Security Council to call "for an immediate cessation of hostilities by all armed groups" earlier this month.

The following spokespersons are available: NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.; INRB Director-General Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum, M.D., Ph.D.; and Michael J. Ryan, M.D., Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme.

"The news today is fantastic".

The first is REGN-EB3, a cocktail of three monoclonal antibodies against Ebola made by USA firm Regeneron Pharmaceuticals New York State.

The trial was the first-ever multi-drug randomized trial for Ebola and was pushed ahead despite the highly complex and challenging circumstances, said Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome and co-chair of the WHO Ebola therapeutics group.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Monday its experimental treatment for Ebola proved superior to a rival therapy from Mapp Biopharmaceutical at preventing death, in a trial evaluating four treatments for infections caused by the deadly virus.

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

Two people cured of Ebola using two experimental treatments have been released from a treatment centre in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and reunited with their families. The study aims to enroll a total of 725.

During a trial, survival rates among Ebola patients treated with REGN-EB3 and mAb114 were higher compared to other drugs. Regeneron's product is a cocktail of three Ebola antibodies, while mAb114 is a single antibody developed by scientists at NIAID.

Four drugs have been trialled on patients suffering from the Ebola virus, with two of these showing very clear signs of improving patients' chances of survival.

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