Expert: Plasma of cured patients effective in treating coronavirus
Updated 14:16, 14-Feb-2020
By Guo Meiping

Large amounts of antibodies have been identified in the plasma of some recovered coronavirus patients, Zhang Dingyu, director of Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital said in a press conference on Thursday.

Initial results have shown the effectiveness of plasma transfusion in treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus, he said, calling on recovered patients to donate blood to help others.

The China National Biotec Group (CNBG) on Thursday said in a statement posted on Chinese social media platform WeChat that they have successfully prepared special immune plasma products, and will use them in the clinical treatment of severe coronavirus patients.

Made from plasma donated by cured patients, the products were prepared after virus inactivation treatment, and antibody neutralization tests against the novel coronavirus and multiple pathogens, CNBG explained. 

Over 10 patients have so far accepted to undergo the new special immune plasma therapy with their condition significantly improving 12 to 24 hours after the treatment. 

CNBG said in the statement that most of the cured patients could produce antibodies that could kill the new virus. Currently, in the absence of vaccine and specific therapeutic drugs, the plasma therapy could greatly reduce the mortality of critically ill patients.

The company also released an initiative, calling on cured patients to donate plasma to save more coronavirus patients.

28 patients in Shanghai were discharged from hospitals on Friday. Among them, six were willing to donate plasma.

Shen Yinzhong, director of the medical department at Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, said that cured patients have to meet certain criteria before donating plasma.

"First, donors must be in good health… we won't collect their plasma forcefully," Shen said. "They must donate voluntarily."

Shen said that he has been touched by the donors. "We will have more of the plasma since more patients are recovering."

(Cover image via VCG Photo)