First effective Ebola treatment a step closer after breakthrough trial

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Scientists are a step closer to being able to cure the deadly Ebola haemorrhagic fever after two experimental drugs showed survival rates of as much as 90% in a clinical trial in Congo.

Since the two successful experimental drugs are accessible by all of Congo's Ebola treatment units, Ryan is hopeful that the development will encourage more of those affected to immediately seek care.

The drugs, namely REGN-EB3 and mAb114, are both antibodies that help block the virus. The researchers also found a mortality rate of 30 percent for people who received the treatments, compared to the mortality rate of ZMapp of 50 percent.

Researchers are to make the treatments available to anyone in the DRC infected with the virus.

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

Since these drugs were the first to have given positive results, it would now be used to treat all the patients with Ebola virus.

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.

After the results, an independent monitoring board recommended an early end to the trial, and all patients with the disease in the DRC will now be treated with the two drugs.

Ebola may no longer be an incurable disease.

The two effective drugs worked even better for patients who were treated early - the mortality rate dropped to 6% for REGN-EB3 and 11% for mAb114, according to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and one of the researchers leading the trial.

An worldwide World Health Organisation-coordinated team consisting of the Institut National de Recherche Biomedicale, the Democratic Republic of Congo Ministry of Health, and three humanitarian organisations began conducting trials in November 2018 and aimed to compare the effectiveness of new therapies on 725 patients.

Clinical trials conducted in Congo revealed that there are two novel drugs which are being experimented. The drugs were developed by using antibodies harvested from Ebola survivors.

Before then, Ebola had never reached Goma, which is home to more than 1 million people.

The Congo treatment trial, which began in November previous year, is being carried out by an worldwide research group coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO). The independent data safety monitoring board chose to stop the trial (which was conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the current outbreak is ongoing) after reviewing interim mortality data from 499 patients.

Ebola has been spreading in eastern DRC since August 2018 in an outbreak that has now become the second largest, killing at least 1 800 people.

WHO is committed to continuing to work closely with the ministries of health of DRC and neighboring countries, and other global partners to ensure the outbreak response remains robust and well-coordinated. The outbreak began in Guinea and spread across Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The worst outbreak was during the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak.

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