Saturday, November 27

Plasma therapy clinical trial to begin in city after DCGI nod

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Clinical trial of convalescent plasma therapy is all set to begin in Kolkata with the Drug Control General of India giving its final nod to a collaborative effort by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Bengal government. The purpose of the trial is to study the efficacy of blood plasma from a recovered Covid-19 patient on a positive patient undergoing treatment. To begin with, willing plasma donors will be screened to select those eligible for donation.
“If all goes well, plasma collection might start from Monday,” said Dipyaman Ganguly, principal scientist and associate professor at Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata.

Patients who have been cured and are healthy can become donors after about three to four weeks of testing negative. At this stage, they are known to have developed an antibody to the virus. Screening of donors, plasma collection, processing and storage will be carried out at the immunohematology and blood transfusion department of Medical College Hospital. Covid survivors who have agreed to donate plasma have been informed and some are expected to turn up at the hospital on Monday.

Medical College immunohematology and blood transfusion head Prasun Bhattacharya said, “Our team is ready to go ahead. The process is quite similar to blood donation. But in this case, blood will flow back to the donor, while we extract only the plasma.” Bhattacharya will have in his team two senior resident doctors, four PG trainees, two nurses and technologists.

Fully funded and supported by CSIR, the clinical trial will take place in the Covid ward of the Beliaghata ID Hospital, where doctors Yogiraj Ray, Shekhar Ranjan Paul and Biswanath Sharma Biswas will act as the clinical investigators.

Unlike convalescent plasma therapy clinical trials elsewhere in the country, where the trial is being conducted on mildly affected patients, here adult patients with both mild and moderate acute respiratory disease syndrome will be recipients of the therapy.

“Two hundred ml of plasma each will be administered to selected recipients once daily for two days. Their blood samples will be analysed after a few days of observation for immune response. It will help study why it worked and why it did not. This is a high-end scientific trial,” said Dipyaman Ganguly, who is the principal investigator. “Once we start, we will be able to assess the result partially in about four to six weeks after using on at least 20 patients,” he said. The trial is designed to have about 40 recipients.

This is the first plasma therapy clinical trial under CSIR that could garner a considerable financial support

 

Source: Times of India

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