Last Thursday, a team of researchers has found out that the opening trials for a new experimental anti-Ebola drug have shown promising results for battling the outbreak in Guinea.
So far, the clinical trial for the experimental treatment, called Favipiravir, included 80 patients from Guinea. The medical research organization, Inserm, and the French government concurred that the treatment resulted in fewer deadly cases and a speedy recovery rate. The anti-viral drug, focusing on battling Ebola, is a product developed by Toyama Chemical, a subdivision of Fujifilm, the Japanese company. The first trial treatment took place in Guinea on December 17.
Last Wednesday, France’s President, Francois Hollande, met with the head of France’s Ebola Task Force, Jean-Francois Delfraissy, and the CEO of Inserm, Yves Levy. Upon discussing the new drug, the president stated that the trials show a significant decrease in deaths caused by the virus, and also that the drug presents an important catalyst in the speedy recovery process.
The scientific trial reports have not been made public just yet, but according to the results, the drug might be the key in stopping the Ebola epidemic. This outbreak has begun over a year ago, and has claimed more than 9,000 lethal victims, amounting to a staggering number of 22,495 infected people all over the globe, according to the most recent report from the World Health Organization.
One of the hardest hit countries by the Ebola outbreak was Guinea, so Inserm has based its trial headquarters in Gueckedou, a city in the east of Guinea. Partnering with Inserm were a lot of other non-government organizations, and also Guinean researchers, the Red Cross and a team from Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
Favipiravir, also known as Avigan, has outgrown its official trial limits. It has already been provided as part of an emergency treatment for people who have been evacuated from West Africa to Europe. However, in Japan, the drug has already got its commercial authorization as a flu treatment.
Unlike other experimental drugs, like ZMapp, Toyama Chemical has announced that they have enough medicine in stock for more than 20,000 people and that Favipiravir could be made available as soon as possible.
Other companies have researched for an Ebola cure, but some have already given up. Another candidate treatment, Brincidofovir, has had its trial stopped on Tuesday, in Liberia. According to the trial’s financer, the company has no prospect of registering enough patients in order to reach a solid conclusion about the effectiveness of the trial drug.
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