France says to test plasma of coronavirus survivors to treat sick

Medical staff carry a patient infected with the COVID-19 onboard a medicalized TGV high speed train at the railway station in Strasbourg, eastern France, on April 3, 2020. (AFP)

France is to begin clinical trials involving transfusions of blood plasma from coronavirus survivors into patients who have severe symptoms in a bid to treat the illness, the institutions involved said Saturday.

Drug makers are racing to develop a vaccine and treatment for the pandemic, which has killed over 60,000 people since the coronavirus first emerged in China in December.

Plasma, the fluid in blood teeming with antibodies post-illness, has already proven effective in small studies to treat infectious diseases including Ebola and SARS.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

The French trials are to start on Tuesday, according to a joint statement from the Paris hospital authority AP-HP, the national medical research institute INSERM, and the national blood service EFS.

“This clinical trial involves the transfusion of plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, containing antibodies against the virus, and who could transfer this immunity to a patient suffering from COVID-19,” it said.

“The plasma of the people who have recovered contains these antibodies that their organisms have developed. These antibodies could help patients in an acute stage of the disease to fight the virus.”

The trials will involve 60 patients in Paris hospitals, half of whom will receive the plasma from the persons who have recovered.

It said the first results could be known two to three weeks after the trials.

The US Food and Drug Administration has already authorized physicians to experiment with the strategy to fight the coronavirus. Tests are also being done in China.

Read more:

France reports 441 new coronavirus deaths, total at 7,560

Coronavirus crisis is ‘like a war:’ IMF

Scientists in US announce ‘breakthrough’ atomic map of Coronavirus

SHOW MORE
Last Update: 07:02 KSA 10:02 - GMT 07:02
Top