Ebola blood and drug trials to start in December

时间:2019-03-05 07:13:02166网络整理admin

DRUGS for Ebola are finally getting closer. Two antiviral drugs will be tested in West Africa – without placebo control – starting next month. According to Médecins sans Frontières, trials will involve simply giving a drug to between 100 and 200 people, then monitoring their progress over the following two weeks. The University of Oxford is running one trial investigating brincidofovir, an antiviral owned by US firm Chimerix. Inserm, the French national institute for medical research, is running the other. Led by Denis Morvy of the University of Bordeaux, it will trial an anti-flu drug called favipiravir shown to cure Ebola in monkeys and owned by Fujifilm of Japan. Peter Horby, who heads the Oxford team, says that placebo-controlled trials are neither ethical nor practical for Ebola. The trial will be more like a triage, he says, allowing investigators to decide which drugs clearly work and which don’t. If death rates remain above 50 per cent, the trial will be halted. If survival at two weeks is above 80 per cent, the trial will also be stopped – but switched to larger-scale trials. Anything in between, he says, will require more careful testing. “I would rather do a trial that I know can deliver a clear result,” he says. “The trial will be more like a triage, to decide which drugs clearly work and which don’t” In another trial, Johan van Griensven of the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine in Belgium will test whether blood transfusions from Ebola survivors boost 100 people’s odds of survival. It has taken several months to settle all the legal issues and decide on the experimental design. Getting approval from regulators in the countries affected and those running the trials is ongoing. The blood and favipiravir trials will take place in Guinea. The site of the brincidofovir trial has not yet been decided. Results are expected by March,