The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced approval Wednesday of the world’s first successful treatment for the Ebola virus, one of the deadliest pathogens on the planet.
The drug, Inmazeb, is a mixture of three monoclonal antibodies produced by U.S. pharmaceutical company Regeneron.
Inmazeb was approved for both adults and children after a trial among 382 adult and pediatric patients in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which recently declared its 11th Ebola outbreak in just over 40 years, according to Doctors Without Borders.
While the approval does mark a significant breakthrough, Ebola is still extremely life-threatening – just over 33% of patients in the trial who were given Inmazeb died after 28 days, compared to 51% who were given a control, according to the FDA.
Inmazeb was funded by a joint partnership between Regeneron and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority while The National Institutes of Health and Congo’s Health Ministry helped administer the study, according to The Hill.
The last major Ebola outbreak in the DRC was in August, 2018. Some 3,470 people were infected and; 2,287 were killed. It was the country’s largest-ever Ebola outbreak, and is also the second-biggest Ebola epidemic ever recorded. The largest outbreak recorded was the 2014-2016 epidemic in West Africa, which saw 28,652 and 11,325 deaths spread across 10 countries, including 11 cases and one casualty in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with blood, bodily fluids, and tissues of infected people or contaminated surfaces making those who live in third world countries and healthcare workers extremely high-risk for infection. The FDA approved Ervebo, a vaccine for Ebola, in 2019.
President Donald Trump was given an experimental antibody cocktail produced by Regeneron after he was diagnosed with Covid-19.
By Daniel Cassady, Forbes Staff
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