The quest for an Ebola treatment is picking up speed. Federal officials have unveiled a plan to test multiple drugs at once, in an umbrella study with a single comparison group to give fast answers on what works.
“This is novel for us” and is an approach pioneered by cancer researchers, said Dr. Luciana Borio, head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Ebola response. “We need to learn what helps and what hurts” and speed treatments to patients, she said.
She outlined the plan Wednesday at an American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene conference in New Orleans. Thousands of scientists have crowded into day and late-night sessions on Ebola, which has killed 5,000 West Africans this year.
There is no treatment for Ebola, but several experimental ones such as ZMapp have been tried on a few patients, and scientists are eyeing some others that were developed for different conditions but may also fight Ebola.
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