Trials for ebola treatment to start in December



Geneva: International medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced Thursday that it will host clinical trials in three Ebola treatment centres in West Africa in December.

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The separate trials, which are aimed at quickly finding an effective therapy that can be used against the disease which has so far taken around 5,000 lives in the current outbreak in the region, will be led by three different research partners, said a statement issued by the organisation.

The French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) will lead one trial using anti-viral drug Favipiravir in Guéckédou in Guinea.

The Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) will lead a trial of convalescent whole blood and plasma therapy at the Donka Ebola centre in Conakry in Guinea.

The University of Oxford will lead, on behalf of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC), a Wellcome Trust-funded trial of the anti-viral drug Brincidofovir at a site yet to be determined.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and health authorities of the affected countries are also taking part in this collaborative effort.

“This is an unprecedented international partnership which represents hope for patients to finally get a real treatment against a disease that today kills between 50 and 80 per cent of those infected,” said Annick Antierens, who coordinates the investigational partnerships for MSF.