Zee Media Bureau
Bangkok: In a breakthrough, Thai scientists on Thursday claimed to have developed the world's first 'antibody treatment' that could cure the deadly Ebola virus infections.
Researchers at Siriraj Hospital claimed that the new antibody is “more effective” than those that now exist.
They said their next step is to conduct testing on animals before moving on to human trials.
“We are proud to have created a new antibody treatment for Ebola fever,” Udom Kachintorn, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, said at a press conference in Bangkok.
“It is a new antibody structure, a new mechanism to kill the Ebola fever in the most effective manner,” said Udom, adding that he expects positive results when trials are conducted on animals in the laboratory and on humans.
The new antibody, developed with the use of human genes and not the Ebola virus itself, is small enough to enter the infected cells and destroy the Ebola proteins, said doctors.
Indicating that it would take a year for an experimental vaccine to be developed, the researchers hope this period could be shortened with the availability of more funding and better facilities.
Siam Bioscience, a joint Thai-Cuban pharmaceutical company in Thailand, has shown interest in the trial of this new cure.
Currently, there is no vaccine or cure for Ebola although there are several experimental drugs for the disease, such as ZMapp which is a combination of three types of antibodies.
The new discovery by the Siriraj Hospital could pave a significant step toward finding a cure for the deadly disease, which has killed 3,338 predominantly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in last six months.
The current Ebola outbreak is the worst outbreak of the disease ever since the Ebola virus was discovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, then known as Zaire.
(With Agency Inputs)