Film tells the story of largest ever Ebola trial with convalescent plasma
A film about the Ebola-Tx clinical trial was presented on Monday 7 September 2015 at the European Conference on Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH) in Basel. The Ebola-Tx trial is the largest ever Ebola trial testing convalescent plasma as treatment.
Led by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), the European Union-funded trial took place between February and July 2015 at the Donka Ebola Treatment Centre in Conakry, Guinea, run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). With more than 100 enrolled patients, Ebola-Tx is the largest ever convalescent plasma trial for Ebola.
Until the 2014 outbreak, blood products of Ebola survivors had only been used experimentally in a handful of cases. There never had been sufficient patients for clinical trials following international scientific and ethical standards. Also, setting up a clinical trial with blood products of Ebola survivors amidst a raging epidemic is highly complex. But the joint efforts of Guinean and international actors meant the Ebola-Tx trial was set up in a matter of months, while clinical trial preparations are normally counted in years.
The story of this extraordinary endeavour is told by its protagonists: the researchers, physicians, laboratory technicians and Ebola survivors who made it happen. The film, available in a 10 and 3 minute version, was produced by Bozo Film Company in collaboration with ITM’s Communication Unit.
The data collected during the trial is currently under analysis and will soon be published. Whatever the outcome, the scientific insights into the use of convalescent plasma as therapeutic treatment will be precious information in case of future outbreaks.