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Medical News & Perspectives
July 7, 2010

Experimental RNA Therapy Shows Promise Against Ebola Virus in Monkey Studies

JAMA. 2010;304(1):31. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.868

A gene-silencing treatment using tiny pieces of RNA to target Ebola virus protected monkeys given massive doses of the deadly pathogen. The findings, by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts, the US Army Medical Research Institute in Fort Detrick, Md, and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals in Burnaby, BC, Canada, suggest the therapy will also protect humans (Geisbert TW et al. Lancet. 2010;375[9729]:1896-1905).

Mortality rates from outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever caused by Ebola virus in Africa have ranged from 25% as high as 90%.