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Physician who survived Ebola received experimental drug treatment

A Ugandan physician, who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone, survived after being flown to Germany for aggressive treatment involving a new drug, FX06 — a fibrin-derived peptide under clinical development for vascular leakage, according to an article published Dec. 19 in The Lancet.

The 38-year-old physician, who was in charge of an Ebola virus treatment unit in Lakka, Sierra Leone, tested positive for Ebola on Sept. 28. The doctor was airlifted to Frankfurt University Hospital on the fifth day of his illness and admitted to a special isolation unit. Within three days, he developed signs of vascular leakage and severe multi-organ failure, including the lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. He was placed on a ventilator and on kidney dialysis, and was given antibiotics together with a three-day course of FX06, which has been shown to reduce vascular leakage and its complications in mice with Dengue hemorrhagic shock.

The physician showed a marked improvement in vascular and respiratory function after receiving intensive care and the drug treatment.

“Even though the patient was critically ill, we were able to support him long enough for his body to start antibody production and for the virus to be cleared by his body’s defenses,” said Timo Wolf, MD, University Hospital Frankfurt in Germany, in a news release. After a 30-day observation period, no Ebola virus genetic material was detected in the patient’s blood plasma. The patient was released from hospital and is now with his family.

“In terms of improving treatment for Ebola patients, we have shown how intensive care medicine can successfully be applied under strict isolation conditions,” senior author Professor Zacharowski, head of the department of anaesthetics and intensive care medicine at Frankfurt University Hospital, said in the release.

“This case report shows the feasibility of delivery of successful intensive care therapy to patients with Ebola virus disease under biosafety level 4 conditions,” the authors said in the article. The effective treatment of vascular leakage and multiorgan failure by combination of ventilatory support, antibiotic treatment and renal replacement therapy can sustain a patient with severe Ebola virus disease until virological remission. FX06 could potentially be a valuable agent in contribution to supportive therapy.”

For the full article, go to http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)62384-9/abstract

By | 2014-12-19T00:00:00-05:00 December 19th, 2014|Categories: National|0 Comments

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