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

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

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

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.

The randomized, multicenter, controlled trial was created to evaluate the safety and efficacy of 3 antibody-based investigational agents for the treatment of Ebola: REGN-EB3, ZMapp, and mAb114, and 1 small molecule antiviral remdesivir.

The results from the two life-saving drugs are "very good news" Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health told The Associated Press. In comparison, 29 per cent of the patients on REGN-EB3 and 34 per cent on mAb-114 died.

"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.

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

The company said the trial was ended early because its therapy, REGN-EB3, elicited a "highly statistically significant result" compared to Mapp's ZMapp, which was considered a standard-of-care treatment.

Two other treatments, called ZMapp and Remdesivir, have been dropped from trials as they were found to be less effective.

The Congo treatment trial, which began in November previous year, is being carried out by an worldwide research group co-ordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO). Efforts to control it have been hampered by militia violence, while emergency responders have struggled to win the cooperation of affected communities, many of which are deeply distrustful of the government and a roll-out of medical strategies - supervised by security forces - that have clashed with local customs. The treatments won't stop the epidemic because that's done through contract tracing and identifying who has the disease, he said.

The agency said 49 per cent of the patients on ZMapp and 53 per cent on Remdesivir died in the study.

"The news today is fantastic".

Jeremy Farrar, director of Britain's Wellcome Trust research charity, said the development would undoubtedly save lives.

All Ebola treatment units will now use the two remaining monoclonal antibody drugs to help slash the death rate.

"We won't ever get rid of Ebola but we should be able to stop these outbreaks from turning into major national and regional epidemics", he added.

Some 681 patients at four separate treatment centres in Congo have already been enrolled in the Congo treatment clinical trial, Mr. Fauci said.

As of August 9, 2019, the trial had enrolled 681 patients toward an enrollment of 725 individuals from 4 treatment centers in Beni, Katwa, Butembo, and Mangina.

Half of those who received ZMapp died.