Thu, 18-Aug-2022
Thursday 02 Apr 2020 , 10:23 am

Plasma Therapy: A Parallel Way for the Treatment of COVID-19 Patients

As coronavirus is spreading faster around the globe, the system needs some parallel therapies to cure patients and one such therapy is Plasma therapy.
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A team of Chinese scientists have recently isolated several antibodies and said that these are “extremely effective” to block the ability of new coronavirus to enter cells. They claim that this could be helpful to treat or prevent COVID-19.

COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China and it is spreading across the globe in a very short period. There is no proven treatment to cure the disease but there are large number of researchers, organizations or companies around the world busy in developing and evaluating therapies for COVID-19. 

Even if companies succeed to make a new drug, it will take time of around two years for the process stages such as approvals, manufacturing and logistic & supply chain. But as this coronavirus is spreading faster, the system needs some parallel therapies. And one such therapy is Plasma therapy. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published the information to guide clinicians regarding therapeutics options for COVID-19 patients. This document provides information on two of the approved drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine and one of the investigational agents – remdesivir, currently in use in the United States. 

Last month, China National Biotec Group (CNBG) said that plasma from former patients was used to treat dozens of critically ill patients at various hospitals in Wuhan—the Chinese city where the coronavirus emerged— and the results of this attempt was positive. According to the company’s research, many recovered patients have produced specific antibodies which can be used against the virus. 

On March 30, Houston Methodist revealed that it has received FDA approval to become the first academic medical center in the nation to transfuse donated plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient into a critically ill patient. Under FDA guidelines, Houston Methodist's convalescent serum therapy treatment is classified as an emergency investigational new drug protocol (eIND) that requires FDA approval for each patient infused with donated convalescent serum. 

"Convalescent serum therapy could be a vital treatment route, because unfortunately there is relatively little to offer many patients except supportive care, and the ongoing clinical trials are going to take a while. We don't have that much time," said Eric Salazar, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator and a physician scientist in the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at the Houston Methodist Hospital and Research Institute.

But, as COVID-19 patients are rising exponentially around the globe, the healthcare system will need enough blood and plasma. To increase the availability, biotech companies and blood banks are appealing cured people to donate their blood plasma to help treat others.

Dr. Salazar also informed that a review of COVID-19 patients' charts indicates that nearly two-thirds of the patients may meet the criteria to donate plasma. Patients with critical underlying conditions and advanced age will not be eligible to donate. Another virologist in Shanghai stated that even if the treatment is safe and effective, it will be limited by the number of patients who are able to donate blood.

As per the today’s data, coronavirus has infected more than 937,130 and killed approximately 47,267 patients. Almost all countries are witnessing financial crisis because of this pandemic.

Neha Mule

Neha writes articles on sectors including medicine, food, materials, and science & technology. A qualified statistician, she has the ability to observe and analyze the trends in global markets and write compelling articles that help CXOs in decision making. She is a bookworm and loves to read fiction, lifestyle, science and technology. Neha comes with 6 years of experience in content writing and editing that involves blog writing, preparation of study materials and OERs.

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