Favipiravir, Experimental Ebola Drug, Seems To Prove Effective In Those With Low Virus Levels

SEATTLE (AP) — An experimental antiviral drug shows some early, encouraging signs of effectiveness in its first human test against Ebola in West Africa, but only if patients get it when their symptoms first appear.

A study of the drug, favipiravir (fav-ih-PEER’-ah-veer), is still in early stages in West Africa, and too few people have been treated to really know whether the drug helps. Other factors, like better health care, may be making a difference, and there was no comparison group of patients who got no treatment or a different drug.

Results for the first 69 adults and teens in Guinea were released Monday. Among those who got the drug when virus levels were still low, survival was 85 percent. That seems better than the roughly 70 percent survival for patients treated in the same clinics two months before the study began, researchers said at the Retrovirus Conference in Seattle.

The drug made no difference for those who got it later. Unfortunately, the median time of symptoms when patients sought care was five days, and the infection often is well established by then.

“We have preliminary evidence” that favipiravir may be effective, says a statement by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and —> Read More Here


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