The Frankfurt University Hospital in Germany has used US-based Aethlon Medical’s Hemopurifier therapy for the first time to treat a patient infected with the Ebola virus.
The treatment was administered to a Ugandan doctor who is also a World Health Organization (WHO) worker, after contracting the virus while working in Sierra Leone.
Hemopurifier is a first-class bio-filtration device that targets the rapid elimination of viruses and immunosuppressive proteins from the circulatory system of infected individuals.
Currently, there is no antiviral therapy or vaccine which is effective against the Ebola virus infection in humans.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the number of people being infected with the deadly Ebola virus disease in West Africa could reach up to 10,000 a week by the end of the December 2014.
A WHO official noted the death rate caused by this deadly disease is now 70%.
The death toll from the Ebola virus outbreak has increased to 4,447 out of the 8,914 reported cases, with the large majority of victims from the three West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Aethlon CEO Jim Joyce said: "We thank the physicians in Frankfurt for allowing us the opportunity to treat this advanced-stage patient.
"Details related to the patient’s response to therapy will be disclosed once hospital officials deem it appropriate to report an update on the condition of this individual."
Hemopurifier targets two unmet medical needs including the rapid elimination of circulating Ebola to inhibit continued progeny virus replication and the direct targeting of shed glycoproteins that overwhelm the host’s immune response.
The device can be deployed for use within the global infrastructure of dialysis and continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) machines already located in hospitals and clinics.
The company is also planning to begin US clinical trials of Hemopurifier therapy after securing approval from US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of an investigational device exemption (IDE) that was previously submitted.
The trial will contribute safety data to advance the device as a broad-spectrum countermeasure against pandemic threats, including Ebola and chronic viral pathogens such as HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV).
Hemopurifier therapy was successfully administered in an average of 100 treatment experiences in health compromised HIV and HCV infected individuals so far.
Image: Aethlon’s Hemopurifier. Photo: courtesy of prnewswire /Aethlon Medical, Inc.