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FDA develops treatment for coronaviruses from the blood of recovered patients


Health organizations are working on a number of different types of treatments for COVID-19, reusing old drugs and developing new ones. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed that it is working on the development of a new type of treatment using the blood of patients who have successfully recovered from the virus.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a press briefing to the White House that the agency had experimented with the possibility of using blood plasma from recovered patients to develop treatment. These antibodies, which are introduced to a patient after the platelets and cells have been filtered, can strengthen the patient’s immune system and help fight a pathogen as a short-term treatment.

A nurse taking a blood donation from a donor.

Image source: Getty Images.

Hahn went on to say that his agency would stay in touch with this type of treatment. If it turns out to be successful, which seems entirely possible, it would provide COVID-19 patients with short-term treatment that could help manage symptoms until an alternative is developed.

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Biotech companies in the private sector have also announced their own candidates for the blood-based COVID-19 treatment. Takeda Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: TAK) announced earlier in March that the company is testing plasma-based therapy in patients at high risk of dying from the virus.

Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE: EBS) also announced two potential new COVID-19 therapies that are also based on human plasma antibodies. The company has already started its collection efforts and plans to start clinical trials in the third quarter of 2020.

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