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Scientists develop treatment for all strains of Ebola

Published on 10/01/19 at 10:51am
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Scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas have developed a new experimental drug that protects against all strains of the deadly Ebola virus in non-human primates.

While previous therapies treated just single strains of Ebola, the new experimental drug protected non-human primates against all strains of the rapidly evolving, highly unpredictable virus.

Dr Thomas Geisbert, a professor of microbiology and immunology at UTMB commented: “Our experimental drug can protect against all forms of Ebola known to harm people, suggesting that it will continue to protect people if the Ebola viruses evolve over time.”

The two antibody cocktail MBP134 was demonstrated to be able to protect both non-human primates and ferrets from the Bundibugyo, Zaire and Sudan strains of the Ebola virus.

Larry Zeitlin, president of Mapp Biopharmaceutical, the California-based firm who previously developed Ebola treatment ZMapp, commented: “We were able to protect the nonhuman primates against all the Ebola species plaguing people at a single low dose.

Further studies exploring even lower doses could open the door to treatment via auto-injectors like the kind used for allergic reactions. The ability to quickly and efficiently provide protection against all Ebola viruses in a single dose would reduce the burden on health care workers in the field during outbreaks, especially in regions that have a less-developed infrastructure.”

Louis Goss

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