Groundbreaking Study Will Evaluate Ebola Survivor’s Blood As Possible Treatment

A coalition of companies and aid groups announced plans Tuesday to test experimental drugs and collect blood plasma from Ebola survivors to treat new victims of the disease in West Africa.

Plasma from survivors contains antibodies, substances the immune system makes to fight the virus. Several Ebola patients have received survivor plasma and recovered, but doctors say there is no way to know whether it really helps without a study like the one they are about to start within a month. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $5.7 million to scale up production of the treatments for the project in Guinea and other Ebola-affected countries in Africa. More than a dozen companies, universities and others are contributing supplies, staff and cash, and are working with the countries and the World Health Organization on specific procedures and locations.

Besides helping Ebola patients now, plasma “could be a tool for a future epidemic as well” from different viruses, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“You might not have drugs and vaccines for some new thing” and it would be good to have capabilities in place to collect and give plasma to fill the gap until those —> Read More Here


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