The University of Chicago is the latest institution to begin studying whether plasma in recovered coronavirus patients could help people battling the disease.
The trial will involve infusing plasma from recovered patients into severely ill patients at UChicago Medicine.
The goal is for the antibodies in the plasma to neutralize the coronavirus.
"This trial is just the first step, but hopefully it will help us determine if plasma transfusions can be a treatment for critically ill patients with COVID-19,” Dr. Maria Lucia Madariaga, a thoracic and transplant surgeon at UChicago Medicine, said in a statement.
Dr. Madariaga, who is leading the study, told the Chicago Tribune the process is “the principle of passive immunity.”
“A person who’s sick recovers from the disease, they develop antibodies against the virus ... and we transfer those antibodies, which are in the plasma, to a patient who’s currently sick with the disease in hopes of transferring anti-virus antibodies,” she told the newspaper.
The trial, announced Monday, will take plasma from 100 donors. Samples deemed acceptable for treatment will help 10 patients at first.
The approach was first tried in China with two small trials. It is also underway in patients in New York, Houston and being studied at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
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