The new drugs are called "antisense" compounds, and they allow the immune system to attack the viruses before they can do enough damage to kill the patient. Travis Warren, research scientist at USAMRIID, said while the work is still preliminary -- the drugs have been tested only on primates -- the results are so far promising. In the case of Ebola, five of eight monkeys infected with the virus lived, and with Marburg, all survived.
The drugs were developed as part of a program to deal with possible bioterrorist threats, in partnership with AVI Biopharma.
Ebola and Marburg both operate by taking over the machinery of human cells. When a cell is infected, it starts producing more of the virus, and can do so for some time before it eventually dies.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Scientists Find Possible Ebola Treatment - International Business Times
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