ASU researchers played part in successful Ebola treatment

TEMPE, AZ - They're calling it a miracle recovery after two American missionaries were sent home from the hospital, no longer infected with Ebola.

RELATED: What cured the released American Ebola patients?

It turns out ASU researchers had a big part in this and they may have helped save their lives.

It all started in a lab on ASU's campus at the Biodesign Institute where researchers helped develop the treatment used to fight Ebola.

They're thrilled to see this kind of progress and they say it could bring a big boost to the work they're doing.

“This was tremendous momentum for us to carry our research to the next level,” said assistant professor Qiang Chen, PhD.

Their plant-based research guided the companies that developed the treatment against Ebola.

“I'm very proud for ourselves and our colleagues which have made a great contribution to not only understanding more about nature, but help in saving lives,” Chen said.

Chen says it's too early to say this is a cure.

But the World Health Organization gave the green light to continue using the treatment.

Chen wants to take the fight against Ebola one step further.

“Instead of treating exposed patients, we can try to develop a vaccine to prevent people get infected by Ebola,” Chen said.

Doctors say the two patients just released from the hospital aren't likely to relapse.

Chen says their progress will probably be tracked by researchers over the years.

In the meantime, this is really good news for the other viruses like West Nile they're studying at ASU. It could bring more interest and grant dollars their way.

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