DRC: Ebola clinical trials begin as UN warns of newborns infected

Saturday, November 24, 2018
By Paul Martin

Authorities allow clinical trials even as a fresh WHO warning about babies becoming infected raises new fears.


Authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have approved clinical trials for four experimental Ebola treatments, even as the deadly disease’s outbreak among newborn babies raises new fears.

The DRC’s health ministry on Saturday said the clinical trials will allow researchers to collect valuable data in a country that is battling its worst ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever.

“Precious information about the effectiveness of the treatments obtained during the clinical trial will allow for the development of these treatments on a wider scale to save more lives,” the ministry said.

The four treatments are mAb114, which was developed by the United States government; ZMapp, an intravenous treatment made by Mapp Biopharmaceutical; Remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences; and Regeneron’s REGN-EB3.

Recent figures say 151 patients received one of the four drugs. Of those, 76 recovered, 44 died and 31 are still hospitalised – a mortality rate of 37 percent.

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