Maxwell Awumah, GNA
Ho, Aug 14, GNA - Two of four Ebola experimental drugs being tested in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) showed survival rates of as much as 90 per cent.
One is REGN-EB3 – developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and the second is mAb114 – developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
Scientist had therefore announced that Ebola could no longer be referred to as an incurable disease, according to a WHO release, copied to the Ghana News Agency.
It said the two experimental drugs, both antibodies that block the virus, will be the only drugs offered to future Ebola patients and all Ebola-infected patients in the DRC, moving forward.
The WHO and the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), co-sponsors of the trial, said early results of the drug trial showed clearly better results, which is very good news.
This puts an end to the trial, which started in the DRC last November and a stop to the use of ZMapp and Remdesivir, the two other trial drugs.
Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe, Director-General of the Institute National de Recherche Biomédicale in DRC, who led the trial said "From now on, we will no longer say that Ebola is incurable."
“These advances will help save thousands of lives.”
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the US NIAID, 49 per cent of the patients on ZMapp and 53 per cent of those on Remdesivir died during the trial.
In comparison, REGN-EB3 had the lowest overall death rate, at 29 per cent, and mAb114 had a mortality rate of 34 per cent.
It said the results were even more impressive for people, who sought early treatment before the spread of the virus in their bloodstream – 94 per cent of those who got REGN-EB3 survived and 89 per cent of those on mAb114 survived in comparison with a two-third survival rate of the patient, who got Remdesivir and almost three-quarter of those on ZMapp.
Health officials are hopeful that this news will encourage more people to seek care as soon as symptoms of Ebola appear.
Dr Michael Ryan of the WHO’s emergencies program said on average, people who fall ill do not seek medical care for four days, thereby reducing their chances of survival.
This has negatively impacted family members and communities, further deterring them from seeking swift medical care. But with the current survival rate at over 90 per cent, it is easier to build trust among the population and people will be encouraged to turn up at treatment centres on time.