Experimental Ebola drug save lives of monkeys infected with Ebola

It was made known that an experimental drug saved the lives of monkeys infected with the Ebola virus strain responsible for the current west African outbreak, according to test results published Wednesday.
It was the first trial in primates with a treatment specifically targeting the Makona strain of the haemorrhagic virus that kills both humans and monkeys, its developers said.
The results, which are being reported for the first time, have already been used as preclinical validation for tests in patients, which started in Sierra Leone this year.
The first results from those human trials with the drug, TKM-Ebola-Guinea, are expected in the second half of 2015, study author Thomas Geisbert of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, told reporters
For the animal testing, Geisbert and a team infected six rhesus monkeys with the Makona strain of the Zaire species of the Ebola virus that has killed over 10,700 out of some 25,800 people infected in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since late 2013.
The specialists then treated three of the monkeys with their specially-adapted, strain-specific version of TKM-Ebola — an experimental treatment that has been given to Western health care workers who contracted the disease in Africa, but whose efficacy in humans has not yet been proven.
The monkeys treated with TKM-Ebola-Guinea were still healthy when the trial ended after 28 days, said the team.
The three not given the drug died within eight or nine days of infection.
“This is the first study to show post-exposure protection… against the new Makona outbreak strain of Ebola-Zaire virus,” Geisbert said.


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