The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ebanga (Ansuvimab-zykl), a human monoclonal antibody, for the treatment for Zaire ebolavirus (Ebolavirus) infection in adults and children. Ebanga blocks binding of the virus to the cell receptor, preventing its entry into the cell.
Zaire ebolavirus is one of four Ebolavirus species that can cause a potentially fatal human disease. It is transmitted through blood, body fluids, and tissues of infected people or wild animals, and through surfaces and materials, such as bedding and clothing, contaminated with these fluids. Individuals who care for people with the disease, including health care workers who do not use correct infection control precautions, are at the highest risk for infection.
During an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2018-2019, Ebanga was evaluated in a clinical trial (the PALM trial). The PALM trial was led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the DRC’s Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale with contributions from several other international organizations and agencies.
In the PALM trial, the safety and efficacy of Ebanga was evaluated in a multi-center, open-label, randomized controlled trial. 174 participants (120 adults and 54 pediatric patients) with confirmed Ebolavirus infection received Ebanga intravenously as a single 50 mg/kg infusion and 168 participants (135 adults and 33 pediatric patients) received an investigational control. The primary efficacy endpoint was 28-day mortality. The primary analysis population was all patients who were randomized and concurrently eligible to receive either Ebanga or the investigational control during the same time period of the trial. Of the 174 patients who received Ebanga, 35.1% died after 28 days, compared to 49.4% of the 168 patients who received a control.
The most common symptoms experienced while receiving Ebanga include: fever, tachycardia (fast heart rate), diarrhea, vomiting, hypotension (low blood pressure), tachypnea (fast breathing) and chills; however, these are also common symptoms of Ebolavirus infection. Hypersensitivity, including infusion-related events, can occur in patients taking Ebanga, and treatment should be discontinued in the event of a hypersensitivity reaction.
Patients who receive Ebanga should avoid the concurrent administration of a live virus vaccine against Ebolavirus. There is the potential for Ebanga to inhibit replication of a live vaccine virus and possibly reduce the efficacy of this vaccine.
Ebanga was granted an Orphan Drug designation, which provides incentives to assist and encourage drug development for rare diseases. Additionally, the agency granted Ebanga a Breakthrough Therapy designation.
FDA granted the approval to Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, LP.