Ebola drugs show ‘90% survival rate’ in breakthrough trial

13 Août, 2019, 12:55 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Two Ebola drugs found to increase survival rates — health officials

Scientists have seen promising results in two of the four experimental Ebola drugs trialled in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a recent study.

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

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.

FILE PHOTO: A health worker fills a syringe with Ebola vaccine before injecting it to a patient, in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 5, 2019.

The therapies that have improved survival rates are REGN-EB3, a cocktail of three monoclonal Ebola antibodies made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), and mAb114, a single monoclonal antibody developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, STAT News reported Monday.

He said: 'Thanks to this trial, we are starting to understand which treatments to offer to patients in this and future outbreaks'.

The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which co-sponsored the trial, said the results are "very good news" for the fight against Ebola.

Fauci explained that the trial was created to include 725 people, but was halted by an independent board when it had enrolled 681 people because at that point, one of the drugs, REGN-EB3 by Regeneron, reached a critical threshold in success, while mAb114 was not far behind.

The decision to drop two of the trial drugs was based on data from nearly 500 patients, he said, which showed that those who got REGN-EB3 or mAb114 "had a greater chance of survival compared to those participants in the other two arms".

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The drugs work by attacking the Ebola virus with antibodies, neutralising its impact on human cells.

Data has so far been analyzed for 499 people from the cohort of 681.

Of the patients given the two more effective drugs, 29 percent on REGN-EB3 and 34 percent on mAb114 died, NIAID said.

The rates for Zmapp and remdesivir were 49 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.

Fauci added that the final analysis of the data, including the patients not yet processed, would occur in late September or early October, after which the complete results would be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed medical literature.

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

The current outbreak in eastern DR Congo began in August a year ago and is the biggest of the 10 to hit the country since 1976, when the virus was first discovered.

"The more we learn about these two treatments, .the closer we can get to turning Ebola from a terrifying disease to one that is preventable and treatable", he said in a statement.

Health authorities are now investigating several vaccine candidates.

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