In September 2018, a 4-armed study of ebola treatments was started in the DRC, using actual Ebola patients.
A 4-armed study means they were trying out 4 different drugs on the ebola patients, not all 4 on each patient, but each patient received one of the 4 drugs on trial with neither the patient nor the medical staff knowing which one was being administered, there was just a control number assigned.
Two of the drugs way out-performed the other two so the trial was revised this month to make it a two-armed study of those two drugs. The study is being funded by the NIH (National Institutes of Health - i.e. you and I are paying for it) and by WHO (World Health Organization.) WHO has organized an independent board of scientists and specialists to monitor and review the trial, the DSMB (Data and Safety Monitoring Board.)
So this trial has been conducted on live patients in the field, with a 10 - 50% survival rate, depending on the strain of ebola in question and whether supportive care is utilized, a 90% survival rate is a HUGE improvement.
The strain of ebola in DRC this go round, the Ituri strain, is a variant of Ebola Zaire so the theory is that these treatments will be effective against the Zaire strain and one of the other strains that is a variant of the Zaire strain, which is the strain that caused the outbreak in 2014. The Zaire strain is the most deadly.
There are six known strains at this time, four of which can affect people. Reston has not been known to cross to people and it is unclear yet if the Bombali strain crosses to people.
Reston - members of the ape family. It was discovered in crab-eating macquees in a lab in Reston, VA, thus the "Reston" name. This one has not crossed the ape - human line since its discovery in 1989.
Bombali - two kinds of bats in Africa, named after Bombali, Sierra Leone. The bats range includes several countries, Guinea, Kenya, and Angola, along with Sierra Leone. This one has shown to be able to cause illness in humans but has not crossed the bat - human line at this time. It was identified in 2018.