Biotest AG: Biotest produces life-saving medicine derived from plasma from healed COVID-19 patients and participates in a cross-industry initiative
News: Biotest AG / Key word(s): Research Update
Biotest produces life-saving medicine derived from plasma from healed COVID-19 patients and participates in a cross-industry initiative
- Plasma donors who have recovered from COVID-19 infection are urgently needed
- Antibodies of healed donors have the potential to provide effective help to severely ill patients
- Test for identification of suitable plasma donors will be available soon
- Biotest participates in the cross-industry development of a therapy for the treatment of COVID-19
- Biotest collects plasma from healed COVID-19 patients for the Ministry of Health in Hungary
In addition, Biotest is working intensively on a new drug against COVID-19 derived from hyperimmune plasma. A test is currently being developed that is intended to screen all plasma donations for antibodies against COVID-19. The donations with the most antibodies can then be used in a production pool for a new hyperimmunoglobulin against COVID-19. This drug could then be used therapeutically for severe courses of COVID-19.
In this context, Biotest has entered into an industry-wide cooperation. Together with Bio Products Laboratory, CSL, LFB, Octapharma and Takeda, the alliance will immediately begin developing a non-company specific trademarked polyclonal hyperimmunoglobulin drug against SARS-CoV-2. The new drug has the potential to treat people with serious course of COVID-19.
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 also join the alliance.
Developing a hyperimmunoglobulin will require plasma donations from many individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19, and whose blood contains a high amounts of 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 and highly concentrated into the product.
An even more short-term approach that is currently being promoted in many countries as well as in Germany is the direct use of "convalescence" plasma as a therapeutic agent. The short-term availability of this direct therapeutic use of plasma is probably offset by a lower effectiveness and increased side effects compared with a hyperimmunoglobulin.
A week ago, the Hungarian Minister of Health launched a "Scientific Consortium" to introduce the collection and clinical use of plasma from cured coronavirus patients. The members of the consortium are: State Blood Transfusion Service, National Pharmacological Institute, National Centre for Public Health and National Institute for Infectious Diseases and Haematology.
The Ministry of Health has asked the Hungarian plasma collection company of Biotest AG, Plazmaszolgálat Kft., to collect COVID-19 hyperimmune plasma exclusively for this purpose. In one of our centres in Budapest (centre Studium), the healed patients are received in addition to regular donors. The donated plasma is then processed by the Hungarian blood transfusion service.
In this extremely difficult situation, Biotest would like to give any support in order to contribute to the Corona crisis solution.
About human blood plasma
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