WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

New Ebola treatment shown to work in primates after symptoms arise

A research team from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases announced on Wednesday that it successfully treated the Ebola virus in a primate after the onset of symptoms.

The report, published in Science Translational Medicine, showed how a new treatment called MB-003 was able to protect 100 percent of non-human primates one hour after exposure to the Ebola virus. Forty-eight hours after exposure, the same treatment was able to save two-thirds of the primates, while 43 percent survived when receiving treatment 104 to 120 hours after exposure.

"By requiring both a documentable fever and a positive diagnostic assay result for Ebola infection before initiating treatment in these animals, we were able to use MB-003 as a true therapeutic countermeasure," Gene Olinger, senior author and a research at USAMRIID, said. "These initial results push the threshold of MB-003 from post-exposure prophylaxis to treating verified illness."

The Ebola virus is capable of quickly replicating and overwhelming the body's ability to fight off the infection. MB-003 is made of monoclonal antibodies that are able to bind to and inactivate the Ebola virus, along with triggering the body's immune system to fight the infected cells.

"With no vaccines or therapeutics currently licensed to treat or prevent Ebola virus, MB-003 is a promising candidate for continued development," Larry Zeitlin, president of Mapp Biopharmaceutical and collaborator on the study, said.