Plasma Transfusion for COVID-19 Explained
John F. Kokai-Kun, PhD, Director of External Scientific Collaboration at US Pharmacopeia, explains the fundamentals of convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19.
Plasma is one of the oldest pandemic treatments ever used.
When a person recovers from an infection, their blood (the plasma portion) can be protective to others. Immune factors can be transferred in this way, as the body will recognize the infection with knowledge of how to fight it.
In the following interview, John F. Kokai-Kun, PhD, Director of External Scientific Collaboration at US Pharmacopeia, explains the fundamentals of convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19.
FDA Grants Emergency Use to Convalescent Plasma for COVID-19
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the use of convalescent plasma in treating coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
The authorization comes after a week of cyclical debate among public health officials and legislators, as well as clinical appraisal among investigators—which have both come to highlight most agents granted emergency authorization by the FDA.
In a release Sunday evening, the FDA stated its decision is based on available scientific evidence indicating convalescent plasma may be beneficial for COVID-19, and that the known and potential product benefits outweigh its understood risks.
“Today’s action follows the FDA’s extensive review of the science and data generated over the past several months stemming from efforts to facilitate emergency access to convalescent plasma for patients as clinical trials to definitively demonstrate safety and efficacy remain ongoing,” the FDA stated.
In a statement accompanying the decision, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, expressed encouragement from “early promising data” for convalescent plasma.
“The data from studies conducted this year shows that plasma from patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19 has the potential to help treat those who are suffering from the effects of getting this terrible virus,” Hahn said. “At the same time, we will continue to work with researchers to continue randomized clinical trials to study the safety and effectiveness of convalescent plasma in treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus.”