Experimental Covid-19 Therapy

  • Experimental Covid-19 Therapy

Experimental Covid-19 Therapy

While the FDA cautions the treatment has not been proven effective for COVID-19, they are urging researchers to continue to study its potential uses.

This type of therapy is more than 100 years old and was used during the 1918 flu pandemic, a time when antiviral drugs and most vaccines did not exist, according to NBC News. This process involves the collection of plasma from recovered patients' blood, which contains antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.

The method - essentially harvesting virus-fighting antibodies from the blood of previously infected patients - was associated with milder symptoms and shorter hospital stays for some patients during the 2002 SARS outbreak. This isn't the approval of the procedure as a licensed treatment; however, rather an emergency approval that follows only on a case-by-case basis, and in extreme situations, as a means of helping additional analysis being executed into the possible efficacy of plasma collected from sufferers who have indeed contracted, and recovered from the novel Coronavirus.

Most requests will receive a response from the FDA within four to eight hours, according to the agency's statement.

"Given the public health emergency that the expanding COVID-19 outbreak presents, while clinical trials are being conducted, FDA is facilitating access to COVID-19 convalescent plasma for use in patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections", the FDA said. The Researchers will then evaluate whether convalescent plasma improves disease outcomes.

"The FDA recognizes that during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the completion of some REMS-required laboratory testing or imaging studies may be hard because patients suspected of having COVID-19 may be self-isolating and/or subject to quarantine", said FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D. "It is therefore important to determine through clinical trials, before routinely administering convalescent plasma to patients with COVID-19, that it is safe and effective to do so". That effort, officials said, would likely start in New Rochelle, the New York City suburb that was the center of the state's initial outbreak a few weeks ago, because of the concentration of people there who have already recovered.

The state Health Department will begin experimental coronavirus drug trials on Tuesday.