Two Ebola drugs have proven so effective in a clinical trial that researchers will make the treatments available to anyone infected with the virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where Ebola has killed nearly 1,900 people over the past year.
Four drugs were trialled on patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there is a major outbreak of the virus.
More than 90% of infected people can survive if treated early with the most effective drugs, the research showed.
The drugs will now be used to treat all patients with the disease in DR Congo, according to health officials.
On Tuesday, two people cured of Ebola using the experimental drugs were released from a treatment centre in Goma, eastern DR Congo, and reunited with their families.
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which co-sponsored the trial, said the results are “very good news” for the fight against Ebola.
The drugs, named REGN-EB3 and mAb114, work by attacking the Ebola virus with antibodies, neutralising its impact on human cells.
They are the “first drugs that, in a scientifically sound study, have clearly shown a significant diminution in mortality” for Ebola patients, said Dr Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID.
The drug mAb114 was developed using antibodies harvested from survivors of Ebola while REGN-EB3 comes from antibodies generated within mice infected with the disease.
Ebola has killed more than 1,800 people in DR Congo in the past year.
Two other treatments, called ZMapp and Remdesivir, have been dropped from trials as they were found to be less effective.