A phase II clinical trial for a treatment of Ebola has started in Sierra Leone, led by the University of Oxford.
Prof. Trudie Lang, Professor of Global Health and co-investigator for this trial, University of Oxford, said:
“This outbreak presented a critical question in terms of asking whether there are any treatments available for Ebola. However this also presented us as researchers with an immense challenge. Typically it takes over 18 months to set up a trial and most outbreaks have come and gone in that time, so we had a very narrow window to address this. Indeed we are approaching the year anniversary and it seems (and we hope) that we are on the tail end.
“Clinical trials are complex and cumbersome, probably overly so, and we have worked hard with many partners to address the obstacles as efficiently as possible in order to establish the safety and efficacy of potential Ebola treatments to internationally recognised high standards. This trial is one of the very few that has happened for therapeutic Ebola treatments and the enrollment of the first patient this morning was a huge achievement made possible by the collaboration and determination of many organisations. We hope that we are able to establish whether this is a viable treatment, but whatever happens we need to learn from our experiences during this outbreak and ensure that in future epidemics we are able to move swiftly and with agility in order to gain crucial and life-saving evidence to improve the chances of survival for these and future patients.”
Prof. Trudie Lang is a co-investigator for this trial.