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

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In comparison, two-third of the patients who got remdesivir and almost three-fourth on ZMapp survived.

Patients on ZMapp, an older treatment used in prior efforts to control Ebola outbreaks, had "an overall mortality rate of 49 per cent", compared to an overall mortality rate of over 75 per cent in untreated patients, Wired wrote. That increased to nearly three-quarters of patients prescribed ZMapp and two-thirds of patients prescribed Remdesivir, if diagnosed early.

It was the first-ever multi-drug trial for an Ebola treatment.

As part of an emergency response team in the Congo, the "Together Save Lives" trial was done with a collaboration of organisations, including the Congo's National Institute for Biomedical Research, the Ministry of Health, the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Alliance for International Medical Action and other organisations.

The drugs attack the Ebola virus with antibodies and neutralise its impact on human cells.

Palm also examined a combination of three monoclonal antibodies developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, called REGN-EB3, which is harvested from Ebola-infected mice with "humanized" immune systems. 1, 2018. Among those cases, some 2,722 have tested positive for Ebola virus disease, which causes an often-fatal type of hemorrhagic fever and is transmitted through contact with blood or secretions from an infected person.

The study began in November previous year in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), but its current phase has been halted and all future patients switched over to the treatments that have shown positive results, the NIH said in a statement.

The Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) recommended that the two new treatments should be given early on.

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The findings mean health authorities can "stress to people that more than 90% of people survive" if they are treated early, said Sabue Mulangu, an infectious-disease researcher who worked on the trial.

The trial, which started in November a year ago, was carried out by an worldwide research group coordinated by the WHO.

About 681 patients were enrolled in the trial as of August 9, 2019, with a total aim of 725 patients, the NIAID said.

It was the first-ever multi-drug trial for Ebola and World Health Organization officials said it had been implemented in a very hard setting in which there are more than 2,800 cases of Ebola.

A vast Ebola outbreak in West Africa become the world's largest ever when it spread through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2013 to 2016 and killed more than 11,300 people.

When the researchers took a deeper look at how patients fared when they seek treatment early in the disease progression, the drugs looked promising. The results of the first 500 patients are now known and clearly show which drugs work best.

"Getting people into care more quickly is absolutely vital", Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO's health emergencies program, said during Monday's telephone briefing.

Ebola is unsafe but it is curable with correct treatment, said Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director of Congo's National Institute for Biomedical Research.