CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance grows, calls for plasma donations

The CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance distributed the following press release…

The CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance, an unprecedented plasma industry collaboration recently established to accelerate the development of a plasma-derived hyperimmune globulin therapy for COVID-19, is rapidly building momentum. Its membership has expanded globally to include 10 plasma companies, and [it] now also includes global organizations from outside the plasma industry who are providing vital support to encourage more people to donate plasma.

In addition to those announced at its inception – Biotest, BPL, CSL Behring, LFB, Octapharma and Takeda – the Alliance welcomes new industry members ADMA Biologics, BioPharma Plasma, GC Pharma, and Sanquin. Together, these organizations will contribute specialist advisory expertise, technical guidance, and/or in-kind support to contribute to the Alliance goal of accelerating development and distribution of a potential treatment option for COVID-19.

In parallel, the Alliance has confirmed it will work with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the NIH to test the safety, tolerability and efficacy of the hyperimmune therapy in adult patients with COVID-19. This global study is currently anticipated to start in the summer and will form the foundation for the potential regulatory approval of the hyperimmune therapy.

Hyperimmune globulin therapy has the potential to be one of the earliest treatment options for COVID-19, and we look forward to working with NIAID and health authorities to bring this therapy to patients as early as possible,” said Bill Mezzanotte, executive vice president, head of R&D, and co-leader of the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance. “One of the stated goals of the Alliance is to be an effective partner for important institutions such as NIAID and also to help develop coherent regulatory strategies that can give global health authorities the confidence to streamline the approval process of hyperimmune globulin therapy for COVID-19.” 

Key to developing this potential hyperimmune globulin treatment is the collection of convalescent plasma. To amplify awareness, the Alliance has gained support from large organizations outside of the plasma industry. Examples of those offering resources to the Alliance include Microsoft and Uber Health. Microsoft is providing technology support, including the Alliance website and the “Plasmabot” for donor recruitment. The Plasmabot streamlines the process for a potential donor to quickly gain information about their nearest collection center from across the member network. In parallel, Uber Health has agreed to donate 25,000 round-trip rides to transport potentially eligible donors to and from plasma collection centers. These rides will be coordinated by the plasma collection center directly for individuals with confirmed appointments.

“Partnership and collaboration are critical to the success of the CoVIg-19 program,” said Julie Kim, president of Plasma-Derived Therapies Business Unit, Takeda, and co-leader of the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance. “We now have enough plasma to initiate clinical manufacturing, but more is needed to ensure both speed and scale. The growing and active involvement of leading companies from outside the plasma industry – who support this Alliance as well as convalescent plasma for transfusion initiatives – demonstrates the potential of convalescent plasma to fight this public health crisis. Together, we all share the same goal to save lives by using the power of convalescent plasma in different ways.”

The success of the CoVig-19 program depends heavily right now on the support of people across the world to donate convalescent plasma. We encourage those who have recovered from COVID-19 and who are interested in contributing to our development program – or to any other – by donating their plasma to visit the website for more information.