Pharma Focus Asia

Global Plasma Leaders Collaborate to Accelerate Development of Potential COVID-19 Hyperimmune Therapy

Monday, April 06, 2020

Biotest, BPL, LFB, and Octapharma have joined an alliance formed by CSL Behring  and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited  to develop a potential plasma-derived therapy for treating COVID-19. The alliance will begin immediately with the investigational development of one, unbranded anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune immunoglobulin medicine with the potential to treat individuals with serious complications from COVID-19.

“Unprecedented times call for bold moves,” said Julie Kim, President of Plasma-Derived Therapies Business Unit, Takeda. “We collectively agree that by collaborating and bringing industry resources together, we could accelerate bringing a potential therapy to market as well as increase the potential supply. We invite companies and institutions focusing on plasma to support or join our alliance.”

“Leaders lead during uncertainty. There is no question that we are all experiencing the impact of COVID-19,” said Bill Mezzanotte, CSL Behring’s Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development. “This effort aims to accelerate a reliable, scalable and sustainable option for caregivers to treat patients suffering from the impact of COVID-19. In addition to pooling industry resources, we will also collaborate with government and academic efforts as a single alliance whenever we can, including important activities like clinical trials. This will make it more efficient in these hectic times for these stakeholders as well.”

The collaboration will leverage leading-edge expertise and work that the companies already have underway. Experts from the alliance will begin collaborating across key aspects such as plasma collections, clinical trial development and manufacturing. Further companies and institutions may join the alliance as well.

Developing a hyperimmune will require plasma donation from many individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19, and whose blood contains antibodies that can fight the novel coronavirus. Once collected, the “convalescent” plasma would then be transported to manufacturing facilities where it undergoes proprietary processing, including effective virus inactivation and removal processes, and then is purified into the product.

Individuals interested in donating plasma can visit this link to find the nearest licensed plasma collection center to their location.

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