Good news! Researchers Are Hoping To Develop New Treatment Against Ebola


A new animal study suggests that an antibody treatment for Ebola might be able to protect people in future. And, this new treatment for Ebola can be done even up to 5 days after the patient has been exposed to the deadly virus!

A new treatment against the deadly Ebola virus!

Two Ebola viruses have been identified, isolated and characterized by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), which is affiliated to the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), and the Humabs BioMed SA, which is a Swiss antibody therapeutics company. This has neutralized monoclonal antibodies from the blood of a survivor from the 1995 outbreak.

New TreatmentThe antibody donor!

The researchers reported that the antibody is derived from a survivor of a 1995 Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The survivor, hereinafter referred as ‘subject 1’, got severely ill in 1995 outbreak. But, after weeks battling with the deadly disease; subject 1 recovered and even went back to the Ebola wards to help care for some other patients.

mAb114 antibody!

Eleven years later, scientists and researchers drew the subject 1’s blood and then isolated the mAb114 antibody. And, in subsequent tests, the purified antibody, a new treatment of its kind, went ahead to save the lives of 6 infected monkeys!

Nancy Sullivan, who led the research identifying the antibody, and a viral immunologist at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Maryland said, ‘It’s really stunning that a single antibody can protect against Ebola’.

Works well even until 5 days after infection!

One of the fully human antibodies is even completely protective against lethal Ebola infection. And, it can work even when given as single treatment, as late as 5 days after infection!

New TreatmentPlanning to perform trials on humans!

Sullivan said that, ‘Public health officials are planning to perform phase 1 trials on the healthy humans with this antibody. It will be done to make sure that the treatment is safe, before building a stockpile, which could be used to test the effectiveness during a future Ebola outbreak’.

She further added, ‘It’s pretty much difficult to go from monkeys to humans in terms of when one can start the treatment and have it be effective. Also, many animal findings don’t bear out in humans at all!’

Developing mAb114 antibody for clinical treatment!

The lead mAb114 antibody is now being manufactured and developed with the support of the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), Arlington, USA for clinical testing.

These findings were published in the 25th February issue of the journal Science.

The Ebola epidemic, which began in 2014 in West Africa, is one of the largest outbreaks in history. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, till date, it has resulted in 11,316 deaths out of a suspected 28,639 infections!

Image Source: Image1, Image2, Featured

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Shalinii Choudhary

Shalini is a Software Engineer by profession and a young blogger. She has a passion for writing and love to write about each and everything. 'Perfection' is what she always aim at and that's what makes her blogs a really masterpiece reads.

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