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“ZMAPP May Benefit Patients, But Study lnconclusive ”- Dr. Massaquoi
By Prince S. Nagbe
MONROVIA, October 13 (LINA) – The Principal Investigator of the Ebola Treatment Study on ZMAPP, Dr. Moses Massaquoi, has said no definitive results from research from the study show that the drug may benefit patients with the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Making the disclosure at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing in Monrovia on Thursday, Dr. Massaquoi said research from the study shows that ZMAPP is safe and well tolerated, and when delivered along with the best available standard of care, may benefit patients more than just the optimized standard of care alone.
The Ebola Treatment Study Principal Investigator blamed the inconclusiveness of findings from the study to the drop in the targeted number of participants expected to have enrolled into the study from the targeted number of 200, which represents 97.2 percent to 71 participants.
According to Dr. Massaquoi, 72 participants who enrolled into the study in March 2015 included healthcare workers from the three most affected Ebola countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
He noted that apart from a single healthcare worker who was evacuated from Sierra Leone to the NIH Clinical Center in the United States, all the other participants were enrolled in West Africa; five in Liberia, 12 in Guinea and 54 in Sierra Leone and included patients with documented Ebola infections.
He disclosed that slightly over half of the participants were women.
Dr. Massaquoi explained that the study was designed as a randomized controlled trial, assigning each patient to one of two study groups, with one group receiving the best available standard care which included giving intravenous fluids; balancing electrolytes to regulate body functions, while the other received optimized standard of care plus three infusions of ZMAPP.
He disclosed that at the close of the study in late January this year, one-third or 21 of the patients, died during the study.
Of this number 13 were those who received the optimized standard care, while eight received ZMAPP plus optimized standard care.
ZMAPP, which is made by MAPP Biopharmaceutical Inc. of San Diego, the United States, is a mixture of three monoclonal antibodies that target a protein on the surface of the Ebola virus, thereby blocking its ability to infect human cells.