The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and UC Health joined the Mayo Clinic-led research protocol to fight against the spread of COVID-19—the goal: take “convalescent plasma” obtained from recovering COVID-19 patients and administer it to the most ill patients afflicted with SARS-CoV-2. The study commenced when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed researchers to request emergency authorization for the use of the plasma which has potential as a treatment.
TrialSite News Overview
TrialSite News wrote about this protocol to incredible interest from the TrialSite Network, the up to 100,000 worldwide now following TrialSite News. The online media platform dedicated to accessible and transparent clinical research literally received hundreds of replies interested in participating in this study—both doctors seeking to become investigators and potential participants.
The Experimental Treatment Shows Promise
Dr. Moises Huaman, assistant professor at the UC College of Medicine (and a UC health physician and local principal investigator on the protocol) reported, “In initial cases, patients with severe COVID-19 who have been treated with convalescent plasma have shown improvement, but more research is needed.” He continued “With no other approved treatment options currently available, this therapy is worth exploring, especially for the sickest COVID-19 patients.”
What is Convalescent Plasma?
It is the liquid in the blood that is obtained from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have been free of symptoms for 28 days. This program can allow access to that plasma for hospitalized patients infected with the novel coronavirus who have severe or life-threatening COVID-19, or who may be at high risk for progression to severe or life-threatening disease, reports UC News.
The National Study
Mayo Clinic is leading the study called “Expanded Access to Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of Patients with COVID-19”—set up to collect and provide convalescent plasma to patients at-risk all-over America. The expanded access program offers access to investigational convalescent plasma for patients in acute care facilities infected with SARS-CoV-2 who have severe or life-threatening COVID-19, or who are judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease. Led by Principal Investigator Michael Joyner, research sites include dozens of Mayo Clinic satellites plus other institutions such as UC. The initiative includes a group of physicians and scientists from 57 institutions and 46 states who have self-organized for the purpose of investigating the use of convalescent plasma to combat the current pandemic.
Collaboration in Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and UC Health will work closely with the Hoxworth Blood Center in Cincinnati to obtain the convalescent plasma from eligible donors. Access will be contingent on the availability of plasma and donors. Dr. David Oh, medical director for Hoxworth Blood Center, reported, “The mission of Hoxworth Blood Center is to save lives in the community.” Dr. Oh continued, “The trial involving convalescent plasma therapy for critically ill COVDI-19 patients is an extension of our mission.”
About the Nationwide Principal Investigator
Michael Joyner, MD, is an American anesthesiologist and physiologist. He is the Frank R. and Shari Caywood Professor of Anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic, where his laboratory is funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health since 1993.
Lead Research/Investigator from UC
Dr. Moises Huaman, MD, Infectious Disease, AIDS-HIV, HIV Infection