‘This thing has taken off like wildfire’: Mayo races with high-powered alliance to produce plasma treatment for coronavirus

March 24  

Via Rochester Post Bulletin

“Convalescent plasma is a time-tested pathogen treatment first used against diphtheria in the late 19th century, later against the 1918 influenza, measles, mumps, chickenpox, MERS, SARS, H1N1 and Ebola. Though the immunology of convalescent plasma is well known, its effectiveness with coronavirus is still being determined.”

“It’s limitations involve a small risk of enhanced infection and the necessity of carefully timing the treatment, but otherwise come down to a modest handful of safety issues that apply to the use of all blood products in transfusion medicine, a category of care that has been well-tolerated for decades.”

“While the biology and safety of passive immunity is well-known, a nation-wide roll out of coronavirus antibody serum poses an administrative and public health challenge like no other. Following an expedited approval of the project via the investigational new drug pathway at the FDA, the campaign will require the wide-scale identification of persons with antibodies for coronavirus, followed by a uniform, population-scaled screening process of potential donors.”

“That’s just for the gathering of plasma. Quickly delivering it to the nation’s hospitals will require another set of Herculean logistical and clinical challenges, including the need to quickly communicate to a disparate sea of clinicians an entirely-new protocol for delivering the antibody-containing transfusions. Joyner says this is an area where an infrastructure has already been created, thanks to well-developed supply-chains behind the nation’s commercial plasma centers.”

Read more about the high-powered alliance working on this new potential COVID-19 therapy


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