Two American Ebola patients given experimental therapy

Guest post by Lila Guterman

According to news reports, the two American missionaries infected with the Ebola virus in Liberia have been treated with an experimental therapy that consists of antibodies to fragments of the deadly virus. CNN and the Washington Post report that the health of the two patients, Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, has improved since they received treatment. As of Tuesday, both patients had been transported from Africa to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

The antibody therapy, made by a San Francisco-based biotechnology company called Mapp Biopharmaceutical, had previously only been tested in animals. Other experimental drugs and vaccines are in various stages of testing, including a dual therapy of antibodies and the antiviral drug interferon alpha, which showed promise in monkey tests last year.

See all of SN’s Ebola coverage.

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