Clinical Trial of Ebola Treatments Begins in DRC
An international research team has begun patient enrollment in a clinical trial testing multiple investigational Ebola therapies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The randomized, controlled trial is enrolling patients of any age with confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) at a treatment unit in the city of Beni operated by the Alliance for International Medical Action, a medical humanitarian organization.
The trial, which will expand to additional DRC districts, is organized through an international research consortium coordinated by the World Health Organization. It is led and funded by an arm of the DRC ministry of health and NIAID and also involves several additional international partners.
“Combatting Ebola requires a comprehensive response that draws on the strengths of all areas of public health,” said NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci. “Biomedical research can lead to critical new tools, such as potentially life-saving therapies. Through scientifically and ethically sound clinical trials, we hope to efficiently and definitively establish the safety and efficacy of these investigational Ebola treatments, offering new ways to save lives.”
On Aug. 1, the DRC ministry of health declared the country’s 10th outbreak of EVD. As of Nov. 25, 240 deaths out of 419 confirmed and probable cases of EVD have been reported in the northeastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. Under the leadership of the ministry, WHO has coordinated the outbreak response with several international partners. NIAID, along with the CDC, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other U.S. government partners, has provided guidance and support to the multi-sectoral outbreak response.
“We urgently need a safe and effective treatment for this deadly disease,” said DRC minister of health Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga. “As we face a 10th outbreak of Ebola, we hope this clinical trial will give us more information about how best to treat patients.