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Photo: Pamela Tulizo/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' Inmazeb as the first treatment for the Ebola virus.

Why it matters: The approval comes after the World Health Organization announced in June that the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak had been eradicated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There were over 3,400 cases and over 2,200 deaths, according to data from WHO.

Details: Inmazeb, a mixture of three antibodies, was tested on 382 adults and children with confirmed Zaire ebolavirus infection in a clinical trial conducted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during an Ebola outbreak between 2018 and 2019, the FDA said.

What they're saying: “Today’s action demonstrates the FDA’s ongoing commitment to responding to public health threats — both domestically and abroad — on the basis of science and data,” FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called the approval “a momentous global health achievement that would have never occurred without American leadership.”

  • "The United States was proud to provide direct support for this treatment, through an expanded access protocol and a clinical trial conducted in a highly dangerous and insecure region of the DRC," Azar said.
  • "The Trump Administration made ending the 2018 Ebola outbreak one of its top global health priorities for the last two years, and these efforts have now left the U.S. and our African partners better prepared for the fight against the new outbreak in western DRC and for future health threats.”

Flashback: Ervebo became the first FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of the Ebola virus in December 2019, supported by a study in Guinea conducted during a 2014-2016 outbreak.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Jan 16, 2021 - Health

Majority gives Dems new health care goals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A narrow Democratic majority increases the odds that significant health care legislation could become law.

What they're saying ... The Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt listed health policies that Democrats may enact with a Senate majority:

  • Nullifying the pending GOP lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.
  • Making ACA premiums more affordable.
  • Offering incentives for states to expand Medicaid.
  • Allowing the government to negotiate drug prices.
  • Eliminating cost-sharing for coronavirus treatment.

Who to watch: Most Democratic policymaking on health care will come from the administration — specifically President-elect Biden's pick to head up the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra.

  • Biden has also announced a task force, led by Marcella Nunez-Smith, on racial disparities in health care — a longstanding problem that got more urgent during the pandemic. 
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
35 mins ago - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Who benefits from Biden's move to reopen ACA enrollment

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Nearly 15 million Americans who are currently uninsured are eligible for coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than half of them would qualify for subsidies, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation brief.

Why it matters: President Biden is expected to announce today that he'll be reopening the marketplaces for a special enrollment period from Feb. 15 to May 15, but getting a significant number of people to sign up for coverage will likely require targeted outreach.