2 experimental Ebola treatments show promise in clinical trials, boosting survival rates

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Image: Samuel Mambo/Reuters

For the first time, preliminary clinical-trial results suggest that two experimental Ebola drugs can lower the death toll of the deadly virus, health officials announced [August 12].

Two other experimental drugs used in the trial were less effective and will be abandoned.

The data comes from the PALM trial, which is short for the Swahili phrase Pamoja Tulinde Maisha, meaning Together Save Lives. The trial began in late 2018 amid the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is still ongoing and is now the second-largest outbreak on record. Ebola responders in the DRC aimed to enroll 725 patients, but they only used data from 499 for the preliminary analysis of the results.

Related article:  Identifying potential Ebola ‘hot spots’ with new tools could prevent future outbreaks

The trial tested three experimental drugs against ZMapp. The therapy is a pre-existing cocktail of antibodies that had shown promise at treating Ebola in an earlier outbreak. But researchers hadn’t been able to get enough data to tell if it actually prevented deaths.

From the trial’s early data, 49% of patients given ZMapp died, as did 53% of those receiving remdesivir. By contrast, only 29% of patients treated with REGN-EB3 died, and only 34% of patients treated with mAb114 died.

The fatality rate of the current outbreak is estimated to be around 70%.

Read full, original post: Two Ebola drugs boost survival rates, according to early trial data

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