In a development that transforms the fight against Ebola, two experimental treatments are working so well that they will now be offered to all patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo, scientists announced on Monday.
The antibody-based treatments are quite powerful — "Now we can say that 90 percent can come out of treatment cured," one scientist said — that they raise hopes that the disastrous epidemic in eastern Congo can soon be stopped.
Offering patients a real cure "may contribute to them feeling more comfortable about seeking care early," said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who joined the World Health Organization and the Congolese government in making the announcement.
[...] The new experimental treatments, known as REGN-EB3 and mAb-114, are both cocktails of monoclonal antibodies that are infused intravenously into the blood. Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins normally made by the immune system that clump onto the outer shells of viral particles, preventing them from entering cells. The two new treatments are synthetic versions grown under laboratory conditions.