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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 1:06 PM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 1:06 PM (IST)

New single dose experimental Ebola drug effective

New single dose experimental Ebola drug effective
Photo for representation only. — AFP

NEW YORK

Scientists have developed an experimental new drug that can in a single dose successfully protect non-human primates against the deadly Ebola virus.

"Our experimental drug can protect against all forms of Ebola known to harm people, suggesting that it will continue to protect people if the Ebola viruses evolve over time," said Thomas Geisbert, Professor at The University of Texas.

A study, shown by the journal Cell Host and Microbe, demonstrated that a two-antibody cocktail called MBP134 could protect non-human primates and ferrets against lethal Ebola virus infections.

It was also found effective against both the deadliest Zaire strain and the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"We were able to protect the non-human primates against all the Ebola species plaguing people at a single low dose," said Larry Zeitlin, president of Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc—According to Geisbert, previous therapeutics typically were of the "one bug, one drug" variety.

Due to the unpredictable nature and variety of the Ebola virus, scientists have been seeking a way to protect against different strains of the virus.

"The ability to quickly and efficiently provide protection against all Ebola viruses in a single dose would reduce the burden on health care workers in the field during outbreaks, especially in regions that have a less-developed infrastructure," Zeitlin said.

"Further studies exploring even lower doses could open the door to treatment via auto-injectors like the kind used for allergic reactions," he noted. —IANS

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