In a major breakthrough, doctors in DR Congo said Tuesday that Ebola is now “curable” after two patients fully recovered following treatment with prototype drugs.
Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director of Congo’s National Institute for Biomedical Research, said even though DRC’s most recent outbreak has killed more than 1,900 people since it began last August, the disease is no longer regarded as incurable.
“Today, we took a new step,” Muyembe told a press conference.
Muyembe noted that the two patients had successfully recovered and returned to their villages.
He said patients had a 90% survival rate with the two new drugs — mAb114, developed by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and REGN-EB3, made by U.S.-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals — and they will be used to treat people all over DRC but warned that the disease is still deadly if not treated in its early stages.
In a statement Tuesday, the World Health Organization acknowledged the success of the drugs, saying “these are the only drugs that future patients will be treated with”.