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For the First Time, an Ebola Therapy has been Approved for Use

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Inmazeb, an antibody cocktail made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. With the approval, there are now both a vaccine — Merck’s Ervebo — and a therapeutic to battle Ebola Zaire, tools that for decades were out of reach for Ebola, which is one of the deadliest infections known to humankind. There is currently an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the third in the last three years in that country. Inmazeb, which is made up of three monoclonal antibodies, was shown to be effective in treating the Zaire strain of Ebola in a clinical trial conducted during the 2018-2020 North Kivu outbreak in eastern DRC. The trial was stopped early, in August 2019, after Inmazeb — then known at REGN-EB3 — was seen to be statistically better than the other therapies it was being tested against. In the trial, 33.8% of patients who received the treatment died from their infections, compared to 51% of patients who received a control — a different monoclonal cocktail known as ZMapp. Mapp Biopharmaceutical, which was developing ZMapp, has since abandoned the product.