Ebola is now a treatable disease.
Two of four experimental drugs designed to tackle Ebola have proven highly effective during field testing. Up until now, 70% infected of those infected with the Ebola virus have died. With the new drugs in play, 90% of those treated have been completely cured of the disease.
One of the drugs, REGN-EB3, is a cocktail of three monoclonal antibodies against Ebola made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals of Tarrytown, New York. The second, mAB114, is derived from a single antibody recovered from the blood of a person who survived Ebola in the DRC in 1995 , and was developed by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Both drugs outperformed two other experimental treatments in the unprecedented multi-drug clinical trial in the DRC, the World Health Organization, INRB and NIAID said in a joint statement on 12 August. Preliminary data from the first 499 people enrolled in the study show that 29% of people given REGN-EB3 died, compared with 34% of those who received mAb114.
In order for these treatments to work, its important that a patient receive REGN-EB3 or mAB114 shortly after they were initially infected with Ebola. This could present a problem, however, given that an individual can have the virus coursing through their veins for days without showing any symptoms. Still, it's a wonderful start.
Now the trick is to figure out through—you guessed it—more trials, which of the these two drugs are the most effective in destroying the Ebola virus.
Image via CDC Global