COVID-19 News

BARDA, Red Cross partner on convalescent plasma use for COVID-19

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the American Red Cross (ARC) are collaborating on systems and procedures to recruit donors who have recovered from COVID-19. Through this collaboration the ARC will prepare procedures for the collection of plasma for investigational use in treating patients infected with COVID-19.

Convalescent plasma has potential to be one of the first therapeutics in use on the front lines. Convalescent plasma is collected from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and contains antibodies of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). On March 24, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an emergency investigative new drug protocol for COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) for severe disease.

The use of convalescent plasma has been studied in outbreaks of other respiratory infections, including the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza virus pandemic, 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, and the 2012 MERS-CoV epidemic. Although preliminary studies completed in China are promising, convalescent plasma has not been shown to be effective in every disease studied.

BARDA and the ARC are working closely with the FDA. which is coordinating government agencies for a unified effort to collect convalescent plasma for use as a treatment for COVID-19 patients and in clinical trials.

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