• Slated to begin in West Africa

Global aid agency Doctors without Borders, said it would begin unprecedented trials on patients in West Africa, to test Ebola drugs and the use of survivors’ blood as therapy. The trials in Guinea are aimed at rushing out an emergency therapy to battle an epidemic which has taken more than 5,000 lives since December.

“This is an unprecedented international partnership which represents hope for patients to finally get a real treatment against a disease that today kills between 50 and 80 percent of those infected,” said Annick Antierens, who is coordinating the trials for the medical charity, known by its French initials MSF. The first trials are due to start in December and results could be available by February next year, MSF said.

Ebola, transmitted through bodily fluids, leads to hemorrhagic fever and in an estimated 70 percent of cases in the current outbreak, death. There is no specific treatment regime and, as yet, no licensed vaccine, although one of the leading candidates, known as ChAd3 and made by Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, is being tested in Mali and elsewhere. Patients’ best chance of survival, if their condition is caught early enough, is taking paracetamol for their fever, rehydrating and being kept well nourished.

The French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) will trial antiviral drug favipiravir in Gueckedou, southern Guinea. Meanwhile, the Antwerp-based Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) will lead trials of “convalescent whole blood and plasma therapy” at MSF’s Donka Ebola centre in Conakry, Guinea’s capital.

Extracted and modified from Yahoo News


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