Latest News

Favorable Ebola results lead to drug trial termination, new focus


An investigational agent known as REGN-EB3 has met an early stopping criterion in the protocol of an Ebola therapeutics trial, according to a National Institutes of Health media advisory.


Preliminary results in 499 study participants showed that individuals receiving either of two treatments, REGN-EB3 or mAb114, had a greater chance of survival, compared with participants in the other two study arms.

The randomized, controlled Pamoja Tulinde Maisha (PALM) study, which began Nov. 20, 2018, was designed to evaluate four investigational agents (ZMapp, remdesivir, mAb114, and REGN-EB3) for the treatment of patients with Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as part of the emergency response to an ongoing outbreak in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

As of Aug. 9, 2019, the trial had enrolled 681 patients at four Ebola treatment centers in live outbreak regions of the DRC, with the goal of enrolling 725 patients in total.

The trial investigators and study cosponsors accepted the recommendation for early termination, and staff at the trial sites in the DRC were promptly informed, according to the media advisory. Additional patient randomizations in the now-revised trial will be limited to treatment either with REGN-EB3 or mAb114. Patients randomized to the ZMapp or remdesivir arms in the last 10 days of the original trial will be given the option, at the discretion of their treating physician, to receive either of the two more effective treatments, according to the NIH.

“While the final analysis of the data can occur only after all the data are generated and collected (likely late September/early October 2019), the DSMB [Data and Safety Monitoring Board] and the study leadership felt the preliminary analysis of the existing data was compelling enough to recommend and implement these changes in the trial immediately. The complete results will be submitted for publication in the peer-reviewed medical literature as soon as possible,” the NIH stated.

The study is cosponsored and funded by the NIH, carried out by an international research consortium coordinated by the World Health Organization, and supported by four pharmaceutical companies (MappBio, Gilead, Regeneron, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics).

Next Article: