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Ebola trial launched

Tuesday November 27th, 2018

The first randomised controlled trial of a multi-drug treatment for Ebola has begun in Africa, it has been announced.

The trial has begun in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is in the middle of an outbreak of the virus.

The trial will be extended to other countries as outbreaks occur, the World Health Organisation said.

Under the randomisation, all patients will receive treatment from a range of treatment combinations under testing.

WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Until now, patients have been treated under a compassionate use protocol, with drugs that showed promise and had a good safety profile in laboratory conditions.

“The giant step DRC is taking now will bring clarity about what works best and save many lives in years to come. We hope to one day say that the death and suffering from Ebola is behind us.”

The news was welcomed by the UK-based Wellcome Trust.

Director Jeremy Farrar said: “This clinical trial is so important – it will tell us if any specific treatment can save the lives of patients with Ebola. With that information, we can make sure the drug is then licenced, available and affordable to those who need it, where ever they are in the world.

“It is also incredibly complex and we should all pay tribute to the very brave health care workers in DRC providing the best possible care and conducting this trial.”

He added: “We won’t ever get rid of Ebola, but we can stop these outbreaks from turning into major national and regional epidemics. With licenced and affordable vaccines, treatments, rapid diagnostic tests and a much better understanding of the social contexts we can ensure as few lives as possible are lost.”

Tags: Africa | Flu & Viruses | Pharmaceuticals

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