REFILE-MSF aims to start drug trials in Ebola clinics next month

Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:48pm EDT
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(Refiles to fix typo in first paragraph.)

* MSF says priority will be treatments already available

* Hopes trials can begin in November

* MSF would not approve use of placebo in drug trials

* Women and children should be included in tests

By Daniel Flynn

DAKAR, Oct 21 (Reuters) - The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) intends to start trials of experimental Ebola drugs in its treatment centres in West Africa next month, as it steps up measures to tackle the worst outbreak of the disease on record.

Bertrand Draguez, medical director of MSF Belgium, said academics and the World Health Organization (WHO) were currently assessing which drugs to include in the tests. Meanwhile, a team of experts in West Africa was assessing which treatments should be tested in which MSF clinic, he said.

Ebola is known to have killed more than 4,500 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. But with at least half the cases going unreported and with an estimated 70 percent fatality rate, the true toll may be more than 12,000, aid workers say.   Continued...