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Ebola virus experts discover powerful, new approach for future therapeutics — ScienceDaily

Ebola virus experts discover powerful, new approach for future therapeutics — ScienceDaily

A one-two punch of powerful antibodies may be the best way to stop Ebola virus, reports an international team of scientists in the journal Cell. Their findings suggest new therapies should disable Ebola virus’s infection machinery and spark the patient’s immune system to call in reinforcements.

“This study presents results from an unprecedented international collaboration and demonstrates how 43 previously competing labs can together accelerate therapeutics and vaccine design,” says Erica Ollmann Saphire, PhD, professor at Scripps Research and director of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium (VIC).

From 2013-2016, West Africa faced the deadliest Ebola outbreak the world has ever seen. By the time the outbreak was declared over, 11,325 people had died. The VIC is an international group of the world’s leading virologists, immunologists, systems biologists and structural biologists working to stop an outbreak on that scale from ever striking again.

The VIC researchers aim to understand which Ebola-fighting antibodies are best-and why. The hope is that the most effective antibodies can be combined in a therapeutic “cocktail.” Unlike an Ebola vaccine, these cocktails could be given to those already infected, which is important for stopping a disease that tends to emerge unexpectedly in remote locations.