This is the story of a drug “made in Congo” which could be the first treatment against the Ebola disease. Since the month of August, the Mab 114 has already been administered to 42 patients in the North-Kivu, in the democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It is part of the handful of molecules used experimental to try to stop the epidemic, which has already been 186 deaths (298 cases) in this region devastated by the conflict.

the history of The Mab 114 began in 1995, in Kikwit, 500 km east of the capital, Kinshasa. For the first time since the emergence of Ebola in the country, in 1976, the virus spreads in a city. The mortality rate is high, near 80 %, and the medical team is poorly equipped to care for some 300 patients with infected. At this time, Ebola arouses little interest among the researchers : epidemics are rare and confined to very remote regions. The doctors then tried an experiment last chance : transfuse the patients with blood from survivors. “On the eight persons thus treated, seven have survived,” said professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director of the national Institute of biomedical research (INRB).

once the epidemic ended, intrigued by this result is unexpected, it offers a survivor of 28 years, Cyprian (whose family name has not been revealed), to accompany him to Kinshasa. Only survivor of her sister, of a family of fifteen, the young man had passed out after healing for several months at the bedside of other patients, and had given his blood in the transfusion, the experimental.

” Our idea was to renew the experience. But we did finally not able to do it during the epidemics “, tells the professor Muyembe. “Every time the medical teams international present to help us in the fight against the disease we would say, “if you do this,” “, underlines the scientist.