Dutch Donors Will Join Global Effort on Plasma Treatment for the Coronavirus

The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 5 million people worldwide

The medical researchers in the Netherlands have signed 1,500 people who recovered from the new coronavirus or COVID-19 for donating blood as a part of an international push for developing a treatment for the disease from their plasma.

The doctors are currently using the plasma of the survivor for treating coronavirus patients n a number of hospitals around the world, but the supplies of plasma are limited as relatively less number of people have had the deadly novel virus and donated blood.

Doctors are using plasma of survivor

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Doctors are already using survivor plasma to treat coronavirus patients in a number of hospitals worldwide, but plasma supplies are limited because relatively few people have had the new virus and donated blood. "The whole goal is to pull the resources, put the brightest minds together, to make sure that at the earliest possibility this therapy becomes available," said Merlijn van Hasselt of blood donation firm Sanquin.

The Dutch group is part of a non-profit alliance, which also includes Japanese pharmaceutical firm, Takeda, seeking to collect blood plasma from thousands of donors and purify it into a high-grade treatment that would be approved by medical regulators. Other alliance members include CSL Behring in the United States, Germany's Biotest AG in Germany, Britain's BPL Group, LFB SA in France, and Octapharma AG in Switzerland.

"If the clinical trials go well... this might be one of the earliest treatment possibilities for patients," Van Hasselt said. Using the blood plasma of survivors of the disease has proven effective in the past in treating people with a range of illnesses including rabies, hepatitis-B, and chickenpox. Separately, Sanquin is testing thousands of samples of donated blood for antibodies to see how far the new coronavirus has spread in the Netherlands. The first results released in April estimated about three percent of the Dutch population had been exposed.

(With agency inputs)

Related topics : Coronavirus