November 17, 2014 – Sierra Leone Action, an organization comprising a global team of Sierra Leonean physicians and other professionals, today announced that Fresenius Kabi has donated nine Fenwal Autopheresis-C® instruments, all required related supplies and training to study a treatment for Ebola virus disease. Sierra Leone Action, one of the implementing partners working closely with the Government of Sierra Leone, is preparing to start clinical trials of Convalescent Serum Therapy (CST) and CST treatment in the country. This is the first implementation of serum therapy in the country.
CST uses blood donated from Ebola survivors to treat current patients in an attempt to jump-start the patients’ immune system to fight off the virus. The Autopheresis-C® system is a fully automated plasmapheresis instrument. It is used to collect only the plasma from a donor while returning back to the donor the other blood components, including red cells and platelets.
In making the announcement, Dr. S. Ahmed Tejan-Sie, a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), USA and a founding member of Sierra Leone Action stated, “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Fresenius Kabi, which has donated all the required equipment and supplies sufficient to treat up to 18,000 patients, and will help the people of Sierra Leone begin to reduce and ultimately eliminate Ebola in Sierra Leone. As an implementing partner working in tandem with the Government of Sierra Leone, using the Autopheresis-C® system will encourage patients to present earlier and enable treatment centers to treat patients faster. We thereby anticipate this will lead to reduced disease transmission and contribute to ending the epidemic.”
“Fresenius Kabi has donated enough supplies for six months of treatment. With the appropriate protocols in place, Sierra Leone Action hopes that within this timeframe it will see improvements in the number of Ebola survivors. The study and treatments will initially begin at the Hastings Treatment Center in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, under the direction of Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Foday Sahr.”
“We are pleased to support the important work of Sierra Leone Action,” said Mr. John Ducker, president and CEO, Fresenius Kabi USA. “Our hope is that this study will make a significant difference in the fight to save lives in Sierra Leone and that the data and experience that results will serve to help improve patient care throughout West Africa. This donation is in keeping with the mission of Fresenius Kabi, which is to put lifesaving medicines and technologies in the hands of people who care for patients.”
Dr. Ahmed Tejan-Sie concluded, “The equipment will be shipped to Sierra Leone in the coming weeks and Sierra Leone Action US-based team members will be trained on how to use and maintain the equipment. The team will then fly to Sierra Leone to train the staff at the clinic as we begin the Convalescent Serum Therapy treatment.”
Note to Editors
Sierra Leone Action was formed in August 2014, to advocate for the implementation of Convalescent Serum therapy in Sierra Leone to treat patients who have contracted Ebola virus disease. The mission of the organization is to:
- reduce mortality rates and improve overall outcome for victims of Ebola; and
- leverage local and international expertise to achieve the overall goal of containment and halt of disease.
For more information about Convalescent Serum Therapy and Sierra Leone Action visit: www.saloneaction.com.
About Fresenius Kabi
Fresenius Kabi (www.fresenius-kabi.us) is a global health care company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and medical devices for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. The company’s products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Lake Zurich, Illinois. The company’s global headquarters is in Bad Homburg, Germany. For more information about Fresenius Kabi worldwide, please visit www.fresenius-kabi.com.