A clinical trial of a plasma therapy against the new coronavirus is likely to start in Korea in late July, the public health authorities said Thursday.
Kwon Joon-wook, deputy director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), said that the government started a joint study on a plasma treatment in March.
|Kwon Joon-wook, deputy director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks during a regular briefing on Thursday.|
“We’re openly recruiting a manufacturer that can produce plasma therapies,” Kwon said in a regular briefing. “We expect that we could try a clinical trial in late July, after securing plasma (from recovered patients) and related agents.”
The health authorities have already completed the guidelines for the supply of plasma from patients in recovery, and the healthcare industry has been following the guidelines since April 13, Kwon noted.
A plasma therapy refers to administering blood plasma minus red cells, white cells, and platelets to Covid-19 patients from those who recovered from the disease. On April 7, Severance Hospital said two critically ill patients have fully recovered from Covid-19 after receiving a plasma therapy.
“When a plasma containing Covid-19-neutralizing antibody is administered to another patient, the neutralizing antibody helps the patient fight the Corona 19 virus,” Kwon explained. “Plasma therapy is a treatment made of refined plasma.”
However, Kwon noted that the treatment guidelines of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) said a plasma therapy did not prove the effect clearly and called for a prudent approach.
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>