EBOLA in DRC: Results of the randomized clinical trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine

02-12-2019

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the most-prestigious peer-reviewed American medical journal, published the results of the randomised clinical trial on Ebola treatments in North Kivu, a conflict zone in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, implemented by ALIMA and its various partners and research institutes, in an article on November 27, 2019.

An Ebola outbreak was declared in this remote region of the country, in August 2018. ALIMA, committed to patient care, participated, along with its partners, in the implementation of a randomized clinical trial.* The objective of this clinical trial, which began in November 2018, was to identify an effective treatment for the Ebola virus disease among four promising molecules. On August 12, 2019, an international team announced the promising results of this trial.

Two of the molecules (REGN-EB3 and mAB114) have been shown to be effective against Ebola, reducing the initial mortality rate from 70% to 30%. During previous Ebola outbreaks, there was no effective treatment for the virus. But today, we can treat Ebola.

The clinical trial involved 681 patients with the Ebola virus disease, and was conducted according to international ethical standards: all patients were informed about the risks and benefits and were able to express their informed consent.

Dr. Richard Kojan, President of ALIMA, praised this achievement, despite the challenges of carrying out such research in a war zone:

“We are working within a very difficult context, because there has been an armed conflict in this region for more than two decades,” he said. “There have been health facilities that have been burned, health care providers that have been murdered. All of this complicates the response to the outbreak.”

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Thanks to the mobilization of all stakeholders, at the crossroads of expertise and experience, this is the first time that research at this level has been carried out in a conflict environment.

To read the article in The New England Journal of Medicine:

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/…

Dr. Richard Kojan receives the Reach Award “Game Changing Innovator”:

https://www.alima-ngo.org/en/cube-dr-richard-kojan-president-of-alima-receives-the-reach-game-changing-innovator-award


 

*The World Health Organization coordinated the collaboration between the medical community and researchers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The clinical trial was set up by DRC’s national medical research organization  (INRB), The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and three humanitarian organizations: ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action), MSF (Doctors Without Borders) and IMC (International Medical Corps). 

Cover photo: ©What Took You So Long ? / ALIMA

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