FROM THE LANCET

A doctor who contracted Ebola at a field hospital in Sierra Leone made a complete recovery due in part to a 3-day treatment course with an experimental drug called FX06, a fibrin-derived peptide used to slow vascular leakage.

The patient, a 38-year old physician from Uganda, was flown into University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany. Within 72 hours of admission he developed signs of vascular leakage and severe multiorgan failure, The patient then began the experimental treatment in the hospital’s intensive care isolation unit. In addition to being administered FX06, the patient was placed on a ventilator and received renal replacement therapy until virologic remission, Dr. Timo Wolf of the hospital and associates wrote in the Lancet (2014 Dec. 19 [ doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62384-9 ]).

FX06 has never been used to treat a patient with Ebola virus disease, although it was shown to reduce hemorrhaging from dengue virus in mice. Use of the experimental drug was approved by the hospital ethical board due to the patient’s deteriorating health, and it was used until the patient’s own immune response could effectively control the infection.

The patient was released to his family after viral remission and a 30-day isolation period.

“The efficacy of FX06 should soon be assessed in clinical trials or at least by standardized collection of data from patients with Ebola virus disease who received it in a compassionate use setting,” the investigators wrote.

The investigators reported that they had no conflicts of interest.

mbock@frontlinemedcom.com

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