The United States on Wednesday approved a treatment with synthetic antibodies developed by the Regeneron laboratory that has proved effective against Ebola.
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the treatment uses the same technology as an experimental treatment against Covid-19 applied to the American president. According to the head of the agency, Stephen Hahn, the approval of the treatment shows his commitment “to respond to threats to health, both at home and abroad”.
Named Inmazeb, the treatment is administered intravenously and contains a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies that, once inoculated in the patient, join the virus to neutralize it, as does the immune system.
Clinical tests were carried out on 382 people, half of whom were treated with Inmazeb and the remainder received a separate medication. Among those treated with Inmazeb, 33.8% died after 28 days, against 51% of patients who received another medication.
The study was done in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018 and the results were published in the “New England Journal of Medicine” the following year. The most common side effects were fever, chills and an acceleration of heart rate or breathing, also symptoms of Ebola virus.
The FDA clarified that patients receiving Inmazeb should not be vaccinated against Ebola during treatment, as this could reduce the vaccine’s effectiveness.
Monoclonal antibodies are a relatively new type of treatment, usually applied to fight cancer and inflammatory diseases. Inmazeb contains three types of antibodies very effective against Ebola, discovered through the infection of genetically modified mice.