Given the success of convalescent plasma therapy, the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance put into action a national campaign called The Fight In Us.
The purpose of the campaign is to urge patients across the US who recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma. This plasma, precisely referred to as convalescent plasma, contains antibodies that can fight the virus. And by passing on these antibodies, they are also passing on their immunity against the virus.
However, the alliance – whose members include big names such as Takeda and CSL Behring, global pharmaceutical and biotech giants; John Hopkins University, and even The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – is also looking at alternative plasma therapies to help treat the novel coronavirus. One that has shown great promise is Hyperimmune Immunoglobulin (H-Ig).
Hyperimmune Immunoglobulin (H-Ig), has already been through two stages of tests, and is now entering the third phase of its trial.
The trial, whose batches are provided by Takeda’s facility in Georgia, will be conducted at the CSL Behring’s site in Bern, Switzerland, by The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
While convalescent plasma therapy is FDA-approved, it has its disadvantages. The primary being the requirement of a blood-type match between the donor and recipient. On the other hand, H-Ig can work on anyone found eligible. It is the product of extracting and concentrating antibodies from a pool of convalescent plasma formed by plasma donations from several patients. The result is not a single type of antibodies but an array that the virus may find much harder to elude. That said, while H-Ig might be more effective, it is also more difficult and expensive to make.
Nonetheless, differences aside, both treatments face the same challenge: an inconstant supply of convalescent plasma. We need more and more people to spread awareness and donate plasma. Now more than ever.
Want to donate plasma? Find more information here.