Novosibirsk scientists to try own antiviral drug in Ebola treatment

An antiviral drug called "Reaferon-Lipint" will be tested as a medication against the Ebola fever, said Alexander Voitenko, Production Manager at Vektor-Medika (a spinoff of the Vektor State Center of Virology and Biotechnology).

An antiviral drug called "Reaferon-Lipint" will be tested as a medication against the Ebola fever, said Alexander Voitenko, Production Manager at Vektor-Medika (a spinoff of the Vektor State Center of Virology and Biotechnology).

"In joint therapy with gamma globulins, this drug will significantly speed up the recovery and reduce side effects for Ebola patients," Voitenko told Interfax on Wednesday.

Reaferon-Lipint was developed by virologists in Novosibirsk about 15 years ago. Currently, it is used to treat DNA and RNA viruses which are resistant to other antiviral drugs. According to its developers, this drug will also be effective in treating Ebola.

Tests will be carried out on animals infected with Ebola and are due to begin in late September - early October.

"Tests on guinea pigs will be carried out at the Vektor State Center, and once stable positive results have been obtained, the drug could then be tested on monkeys. About a month or a month and a half after the tests on animals, the developers will obtain all necessary data that will enable them to draw conclusions about the positive dynamic," Voitenko said.

"Now, once positive results have been received, we will strongly recommend to the Russian office of the WHO (World Health Organization) that the drug be used in preventing and treating the Ebola hemorrhagic fever in West Africa, but parallel clinical tests will be also be held," he said.

The WHO has allowed drugs not clinically tested to be used in Ebola treatment, he said.

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