Ebola Breakthrough: Has Germany Found a Cure With This Experimental Drug?
A prototype drug called...
German doctors have given details of how an experimental drug may be a viable solution to add to the Ebola treatment pipeline.
A prototype drug called FX06 – made using a natural human blood-clotting protein called fibrin – was given to a Ugandan physician who had been airlifted from Sierra Leone with Ebola. Upon approval from the hospital’s ethics committee, the drug was given to the patient and resulted in successful treatment.
Called a fibrin-derived peptide, FX06 is designed to seal off the walls of blood vessels, which become permeable when infected by a hemorrhagic virus. The peptide works by binding to the surface of endolethial cells, which form the inner cell layer of blood vessels.
After a 30-day observation, along with the combination of intensive care and the drug, no trace of Ebola was found in the Ugandan patient’s blood. He was later released from the hospital and returned to his family.
While the drug failed to save a second patient, the team at Frankfurt University Hospital wrote in the Lancet medical journal that the experimental drug should nonetheless be tested.
“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 defenses,” said Dr. Timo Wolf, who helped lead the research team. “FX06 could potentially be a valuable agent in contribution to supportive therapy.”
The drug was invented at Vienna General Hospital and is made by a small Austrian firm called MChE-F4Pharma.
If approved for testing, FX06 would join about a half dozen other drugs being tested against Ebola, none of which has yet been shown to help patients recover. Serum from people who have survived Ebola is another approach that has been tried, as well as several vaccines.
More than 6900 people have died during the current Ebola epidemic, which is primarily affecting the west African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”