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Ebola drugs prove 90% effective in clinical trial in DRC

Image Credit: NIAID

Health professionals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are now offering two experimental drugs to people infected with Ebola, after they proved highly effective in ensuring survival in a multi-drug clinical trial.

Regeneron’s combination of three monoclonal antibodies, REGN-EB3, and the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease’s (NIAID’s) drug mAB114, showed respective survival rates of 71% and 66% in a clinical trial in the DRC.

DRC rules out trialling experimental Ebola vaccines

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has said it will stick with Merck’s rVSV-ZEBOV ebola vaccine, as it ruled out trialling other experimental Ebola vaccines.

The government of the DRC has ruled out trialling experimental Ebola vaccines as it suggested that doing so risked “confusing the population.” The Congolese Government is currently trying to control the second worst Ebola outbreak in the history of the world.

WHO declares global public health emergency over Ebola outbreak in Congo

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a global public health emergency.

The UN health organisation has declared a global public health emergency over the Ebola outbreak, after an emergency committee meeting in Geneva. The decision comes soon after the WHO said they would not declare a public health emergency in June 2019.

WHO decide not to declare global emergency

The WHO has decided not to declare the Ebola crisis in the Congo a global emergency.

While the WHO said that the Ebola crisis is “very much an emergency” in the region, the UN agency said it did not pose a global threat.

The outbreak has killed more than 1,400 people – mainly in the Congo – making it the second biggest Ebola outbreak to ever have occurred.

Scientists develop treatment for all strains of Ebola

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Scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas have developed a new experimental drug that protects against all strains of the deadly Ebola virus in non-human primates.

While previous therapies treated just single strains of Ebola, the new experimental drug protected non-human primates against all strains of the rapidly evolving, highly unpredictable virus.

Ebola outbreak in Congo may last another 6 months, WHO officials say

Image Credit: MONUSCO Photos

The outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is expected to last until mid-2019, a World Health Organization (WHO) official has said.

The outbreak, which has killed more than 200 people, has been called the ‘worst’ outbreak in the country’s history.

“It’s very hard to predict timeframes in an outbreak as complicated as this with so many variables that are outside our control, but certainly we’re planning on at least another six months before we can declare this outbreak over,” WHO emergency response chief Peter Salama told reporters.

MSD's experimental vaccine to be used in fight against Congo Ebola outbreak

The Congo river in the Democratic Republic of Congo

MSD’s experimental drug rVSV-ZEBOV will be used in tackling the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, after samples collected from hospitalised patients tested positive for the filovirus.

Vaccinations are set to begin today in the east of the DRC, according to a senior official at the health ministry as reported by Reuters. The experimental vaccine proved successful during an outbreak in north-western Congo just two weeks ago.

The June 2018 issue of Pharmafocus is now live!

The new June edition of Pharmafocus is now available to read online.

Ebola threat intensifies in DR Congo

The Ebola virus

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is becoming increasingly serious, after it was confirmed that there was a case of a person infected by the virus in the city of Mbandaka.

The city has a population of approximately one million people and sits on the Congo River, a major trading avenue for the region.

Early this week it was announced that MSD would be supplying experimental as yet unapproved vaccines to attempt to curtail the Ebola outbreak but the situation threatens to potentially be beyond control if it spreads to other cities.

Trials reveal two strong vaccine candidates for Ebola

IMAGE: Prevail

Two clinical-stage vaccine candidates for Ebola have produced stunning results, not least because an unexpected protection emerged. The two therapies have been separately developed by GSK and MSD (known as Merck in North America), and were trialled in Liberia.

The trial, known as PREVAIL, began in 2014, at the height of the Ebola crisis, and the results have finally been revealed. It showed that both vaccines produced a high-level of antibody response, which was durable in the long-term.

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