Updated: April 06, 2020 07:20 AM
Created: April 06, 2020 06:01 AM
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Friday that Mayo Clinic will be the lead institution conducting research with blood from those who have recovered from COVID-19.
During a new national plasma trial, blood plasma will be collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19, which will then be used to treat those who are in severe or life-threatening conditions.
According to health officials, a donor's plasma contains antibodies that can attack the virus to help patients recover more rapidly.
Mayo Clinic will be working with physicians and investigators from 40 other institutions, including Johns Hopkins University and Washington University.
"We are pleased to work with our colleagues and the nation to fight this pandemic every way we can as part of Mayo's patient-focused mission," researcher Dr. Michael Joyner said in a statement. "We believe this program, in extending access to this investigational treatment, is a hopeful therapeutic option. We anticipate a trickle of convalescent plasma for therapy will begin next week, with more available in the following weeks. We also will collect data so we can understand how best to use plasma to treat COVID-19."
Joyner added that the testing is dependent on the number of those who have successfully recovered from the virus.
"It's very, very important for the general public to understand that this is not like a drug where we can just increase the number of shifts and ramp up the production line at the drug company," Joyner said. "This is a biological product that has to be obtained from a specific set of patients who've recovered from COVID-19."
The national program is supported by the American Red Cross and the larger blood-banking community, which will work with physicians to collect and distribute the donor plasma.
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