France launches tests using plasma from recovered patients

A clinical trial of transfusing blood plasma from people recovered from Covid-19 to “patients in the acute phase of the disease“will start on April 7 in France, the establishments responsible for driving it announced this Saturday.

This clinical trial involves the transfusion of plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients, containing antibodies to the virus, which could transfer this immunity to a patient with Covid-19“, according to a joint statement from the Public Assistance-Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP), the French Blood Establishment (EFS) and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm).

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The plasma of people who have recovered from Covid-19 contains these antibodies that their bodies have developed. These antibodies could help patients in the acute phase of the disease to fight the virus“, they hope.

This clinical trial, called Coviplasm, will be conducted by Professor Karine Lacombe and Professor Pierre Tiberghien.

60 patients for the test phase

Targeted samples will be taken from Tuesday in Ile-de-France, Grand-Est and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté from around 200 patients who have been cured for at least 14 days.

Cured Covid-19 Patients Will Be Invited To Donate Their Plasma To The EFS“, according to the press release.

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The clinical trial will count 60 patients in Parisian hospitals, including “half will benefit from the convalescent plasma supply“.

An initial evaluation may be made two to three weeks after the start of the clinical trial“, which may be extended depending on the results.

The EFS will also look for the presence of antibodies to the coronavirus “in a representative sample of blood donors who donate during a specific period“, for “get a picture of the spread of the virus in France“.

Convalescent plasma, the liquid part of the blood that concentrates antibodies after illness, has already been shown to be effective in small-scale studies against other infectious diseases like Ebola or SARS.

The US drug agency, the Food and Drug Administration, has given the green light to test such treatments for coronavirus. Tests are also being carried out in China.

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