Experimental Drug and Advanced Intensive Care Saves Ugandan Physician

by Kalyani Thivakaran on  December 21, 2014 at 11:40 AM Tropical Disease News
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An Ugandan physician with Ebola who had been airlifted from Sierra Leone has been saved by a team of German doctors on Friday using an experimental drug together with advanced intensive care.
 Experimental Drug and Advanced Intensive Care Saves Ugandan Physician
Experimental Drug and Advanced Intensive Care Saves Ugandan Physician

A prototype drug called FX06, designed to stop hemorrhage, was given to the patient after the doctors got special authorization from their hospital's ethics committee, they reported in The Lancet.

"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 Timo Wolf of University Hospital Frankfurt.

The Frankfurt team and the makers of the experimental drug had announced its use in early November.

Publication in The Lancet, a leading peer-reviewed medical journal, validates this announcement.

The unnamed 38-year-old male doctor had been airlifted to Frankfurt in early October, five days after the onset of Ebola symptoms, and admitted to a Biosafety 4 facility, the highest level of medical security, the study said.

Within three days of admission, he was suffering from failure of the lungs, kidneys and gastro-intestinal tract, as well as hemorrhaging blood vessels, a hallmark of Ebola infection.

He was placed on a ventilator and kidney dialysis and administered with antibiotics and a three-day course of FX06.

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 endothelial cells, which form the inner cell layer of blood vessels. It latches onto the cells via a target called VE-cadherin.

The drug was invented at Vienna General Hospital and is made by a small Austrian firm called MChE-F4Pharma.

It had previously been tested on lab mice infected with the dengue virus and was also put through a trial among 234 European patients to assess its potential for limiting damage to cardiac tissue after a heart attack.

The combination of intensive care and the drug helped the Ugandan patient to stabilize and then recover, the doctors reported.

After a 30-day observation period, no trace of Ebola was found in his blood, and he was released from hospital to return to his family.

But the Lancet study also reported that shortly after this case, another Ebola patient with acute Ebola and hemorrhage was treated with FX06 at a hospital in the eastern Germany city of Leipzig, but died.

Treating Ebola cases in intensive care is a task with "complexity and specific challenges," it warned.

FX06 is "a potentially valuable therapeutic candidate" for fighting the disease, the authors said, calling for the drug to be assessed in clinical trials.

More than 6,900 people have died in the latest Ebola epidemic, which is centered on the west African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

Source: AFP

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The article fails to mention that Dr. Mawanda was also treated with Aethlon's Hemopurifier, which Time magazine said is one of the greatest inventions in 2014. On the 11th day of his treatment, when Dr. Mawanda was suffering multiple organ failure and had hundreds of millions of copies of the ebola virus in his blood, the Aethlon's Hemopurifier captured 242 million copies; 99% of what was there, in 6.5 hours of treatment. Before treatment with Aethlon’s Hemopurifier, the patient had 400,000 virus particles per milliliter of blood. After the dialysis, which lasted about six and a half hours, the “viral load” dropped to 1,000 per milliliter and never rose above that level again, said Dr. Helmut Geiger. He is chief of nephrology at Frankfurt University Hospital in Germany, where the patient received his Ebola care. Dr. Geiger personally presented this information before 13000 medical professionals and peers at the Society of Nephrology Conference in Philadelphia in November. All of this information is easily accessible on the internet. I mourn the passing of Dr. Willoughby, Sierra Leones most leading and senior Dr. He is the 11th Dr. to succumb to Ebola in Sierra Leone. Dr. Mawanda is the only Dr. who worked there who got EVD and recovered. I pray frequently for the African nations at the center of this epidemic. No nation on this planet could deal with what they deal with day in day out month in month out for over a year today.


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