Statement by Commissioner Carlos Moedas on EU-funded research on Ebola

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, today welcomed the announcement by researchers working on the EU-funded REACTION project that the antiviral drug favipiravir may be an effective treatment against early Ebola disease.

Commissioner Moedas said: "I am excited about the encouraging results of one of our EU-funded projects to tackle Ebola. We have preliminary evidence that the antiviral drug 'favipiravir' may be effective against early Ebola disease. If these results are confirmed by the ongoing clinical trial, it will be the first-ever treatment to be deployed against this deadly disease during the current outbreak. These results show the success of the European Commission's quick reaction to the Ebola outbreak to support urgent research on several potential treatments and vaccines against Ebola with funding from our Horizon 2020 research programme. This is an astounding example of what the best brains can achieve with EU support when there is so much at stake. It shows how EU funding can lead to discoveries that save people's lives and which are the result of rapid EU, international and industry cooperation."

Yves Levy, the chairman and CEO of French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) which coordinates the project, said: "The results of this non-comparative trial have to be confirmed using a larger number of patients. However, they open up other therapeutic opportunities in drug combinations, in particular for the treatment of patients suffering from more advanced stages of this disease. They also clearly show that research plays an essential role in tackling such epidemics. I would also like to stress that without the excellent Guinean-French cooperation, the pioneering role of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in this research, the fruitful partnerships with all NGOs involved, and the European Commission's responsiveness, this progress could not have been accomplished."

More information:

REACTION project factsheet

EU research on Ebola