Two new Ebola treatments show promise in the fight against the outbreak in Congo
- The treatments, known as REGN-EB3 and an antibody called mAb114, were being tried out in patients with Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, along with antiviral drugs ZMapp and Remdesivir.
- The drugs REGN-EB3 and mAb114 showed "clearly better" results compared to the others, according to the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). The treatments were developed using antibodies harvested from people who survived an Ebola infection.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesNIAID and one of the researchers leading the trial, said the results were "very good news" in the fight against Ebola.
The World Health Organization has decided to narrow an experiment with Ebola patients to two treatments that show real promise.
The test of the drugs started in November as a part of the emergency response to the outbreak in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces.
The current Ebola outbreak is now considered the second largest in history, killing at least 1,800 people. Violence in the region has limited efforts to fight the outbreak.
On Friday, the DSMB recommended that all future patients be given either REGN-EB3 or mAB114 after they reviewed the results.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID and one of the researchers leading the trial, said the results were “very good news” in the fight against Ebola.
“Obviously, this is a very important advance,” Fauci said. The treatments won’t stop the epidemic because that’s done through contract tracing and identifying who has the disease, he said.
The results showed that 499 study participants who got the REGN-EB3 or mAb114 had a greater chance of survival compared to those who got the other drugs.
Researchers working with the World Health Organization and the pharmaceutical companies that make the drug, MappBio, Gilead, Regeneron, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics have been racing to find something to stop the Ebola outbreak.
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