Six world bio-pharma giants team up to develop new blood plasma-based drug against COVID-19

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Bio pharmaceutical companies Takeda and CLS Behring have shaken hands to form an alliance, next to Biotest, BPL, LFB and Octapharma in order to develop together a plasma-based drug against COVID-19.

The group will work on a treatment made from the plasma of patients who have recovered from COVID-19. The companies will start testing soon.

Known as hyperimmune immunoglobulins, these drugs are made by purifying antibodies from donated plasma. Takeda had been working on TAK-888, a polyclonal hyperimmune globulin (H-IG) against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but the partners will now focus their efforts on a single, unbranded medicine.

However, the development of this medicine needs donations of high quantities of plasma from the people who recovered from Coronavirus and whose blood contains antibodies that can fight against the virus. Once collected, the plasma will be transported to the processing centres where the process of virus inactivation and purification will start in three stages.

“It is more important than ever to be aware of the importance of plasma availability and of the national collection centres in order to be able to continue producing vital treatments for the patients in Romania. There is no substitute for plasma, but I am confident that our expertise will help us provide innovative solutions on the local market,” said Dominika Kovacs, Country Manager Takeda Romania.

“This effort aims to accelerate a reliable, scalable and sustainable option for caregivers to treat patients suffering from the impact of COVID-19,” said Bill Mezzanotte, CSL Behring’s R&D chief. “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.”

Romanian Health minister Nelu Tataru was expected to sign today the ministerial order to regulate the protocol of human plasma sampling from patients who were cured from COVID-19 infection in Romania.

The plasma would be sampled from donors cured from coronavirus on a volunteering basis.

 

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