The director of the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging a ceasefire between armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as raging conflicts in the region have hampered efforts to stop a new Ebola outbreak which is transmitting freely, reports the Daily Mail.
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said in May that it was launching the first human trials of mAb114 to test for tolerance and safety. The WHO's Ghebreyesus, meanwhile, said that five patients have received the unlicensed drug thus far, and that WHO is pushing for the roll-out "to speed up as much as possible."
The experimental drug comes on the heels of an unlicensed vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV, which was used during another DRC Ebola outbreak earlier this year after it was deemed safe and effective in trials during the 2013-2015 pandemic in West Africa. The vaccine is credited with playing a significant role in stopping the spread of Ebola throughout Equateur province, and is expected to be particularly useful during this new outbreak.
So far, 216 people - mostly front-line heal workers, have been jabbed with the vaccine since last week.