A new antibody drug cocktail meant to cure the deadly virus Ebola has been successful when applied to monkeys who were injected with the deadly virus in a laboratory setting. Scientists believe the drug cocktail may be successful in curing the deadly virus in humans.
The new drug cocktail was tested on the Zaire strain of Ebola which is the most common and most deadly strain of the virus. Patients who suffer from Zaire Ebola suffer from a 90 percent fatality rate.
The potential new cure was documented by medical microbiologists at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Canada. The group of researchers infected 12 cynomolgus monkey and then administered their “ZMab” cocktail. Four monkeys given the antibodies were cured within 24 hours while two of the four given the cocktail made a full recovery within 48 hours.
Four of the monkey’s who were not given treatment died within five days of infection.
The study is the first to successfully complete a post-infection treatment trial of the virus, in the past studies had focused on preventing the virus’ diseases with vaccination.
the new drug cocktail involved extracting antibodies from mice which had been vaccinated against the Zaire strain. The drug targets and neutralizes glycoprotein on the surface of the virus that allows it to enter and infect cells.
According to researcher Gary Kobinger “the antibodies slowed replication until the animals’ own immune systems kicked in and completely cleared the virus”.
The test was part of Ebola treatment Defilovir which will enter into phase I human testing trials by the end of 2014.
The groups full study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on 13 June