BANGKOK, Oct 2 (IANS/EFE): Thai scientists Thursday announced the discovery of a new antibody against the Ebola virus and claimed that it is "more effective" than those that now exist.
However, the new cure is still awaiting animal and human trials.
"We are proud to have created a new antibody treatment for Ebola fever," Udom Kachintorn, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, said at a press conference in Bangkok.
"It is a new antibody structure, a new mechanism to kill the Ebola fever in the most effective manner," said Udom, adding that he expected positive results when trials are conducted on animals in the laboratory and on humans.
According to his research, this new antibody is small enough to enter the infected cells and destroy the Ebola proteins.
It is harmless to humans as it is developed from human cells and can reproduce in large quantities.
The researchers indicated that it would take a year for an experimental vaccine to be developed, although this period could be shortened with the availability of more funding and better facilities.
Siam Bioscience, a joint Thai-Cuban pharmaceutical company in Thailand, has shown interest in the trial of this new cure.
Currently, there are several experimental drugs for Ebola, such as ZMapp which is a combination of three types of antibodies, while companies like GlaxoSmithKline and NewLink Genetic are expected to announce a new vaccine by the end of the year.
In six months, the Ebola virus disease has infected 6,553 people and killed 3,100 in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, three of the countries worst-affected by the epidemic in western Africa.
This is the worst outbreak of the disease ever since the Ebola virus was discovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, then known as Zaire.