Michigan Medicine awarded funding for COVID-19 plasma therapy trial

Trial aims to determine if convalescent plasma can prevent mild COVID-19 cases from becoming severe

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Michigan Medicine and three other medical centers were awarded a total of $7 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHBLI) to study convalescent plasma in reducing symptoms of COVID-19 in patients with mild cases, Michigan Medicine announced Thursday.

The other medical centers awarded funding are the University of Pittsburgh, Medical University of South Carolina and Stanford Medicine.

As part of NHBLI’s initiative, the Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma of Outpatients (C3PO), the institute plans to study whether preventing a mild case from becoming severe can come from passive immunization.

Convalescent plasma contains antibodies that can bind to the virus that causes COVID-19, neutralizing it. It comes from blood donated by someone who already had the virus and recovered.

A press release from Michigan Medicine said convalescent plasma can be used as a treatment for hospital patients with severe to life-threatening COVID-19, which is the passive immunization.

“This trial will focus on patients with mild COVID-19 who have a high risk of developing severe illness, and who stand to benefit most if this approach works as an early treatment,” said Frederick Korley, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan and principal investigator on the C3PO study. “This includes patients over age 50, those with heart disease, lung disease or diabetes and patients who are immunocompromised.”

C3PO will study 600 patients with COVID-19 at 50 U.S. medical centers coming to the emergency department with mild illness.

For more information on the trial, visit https://siren.network/clinical-trials/c3po.

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