Experimental drug helped cure doctor who contracted Ebola in Sierra
5 January 2015
A doctor who caught Ebola while in charge of a treatment unit in
Lakka, Sierra Leone was treated with an experimental drug called
FX06 along with other intensive care and recovered.
The doctor, who caught the virus in September last year,
was airlifted to Frankfurt University Hospital on the 5th day of his
illness and admitted to a specialised isolation unit.
Within 72 hours of admission he developed signs of vascular
damage and leakage of fluid into surrounding tissue, along with
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 3-day course of
an experimental drug called FX06 — a fibrin-derived peptide that has
been shown to reduce vascular leakage and its complications in mice
with Dengue hemorrhagic shock. It is believed to have a role in
stabilizing the endothelium, the inner layer of blood vessels.
A marked improvement in vascular and respiratory function was
seen under the combined measures of intensive care and drug
treatment. 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.
“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 defences”, explains Dr
Timo Wolf, Division of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital
Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.
“In terms of improving treatment for Ebola patients, we have
shown how intensive care medicine can successfully be applied under
strict isolation conditions”, addd Professor Zacharowski, head of
the Department of Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine at
Frankfurt University Hospital.”
The researchers have published the results in The Lancet
and also called for FX06 to be evaluated in clinical trials.
Wolf T, et al. Severe Ebola virus disease with vascular
leakage and multiorgan failure: treatment of a patient in intensive
care. The Lancet. Published Online December 19, 2014.