A large-scale clinical study with the plasma of people who have recovered from the new coronavirus (Covid-19) to treat patients was launched in Belgium.
The DAWN-plasma study is a collaboration between university and non-university hospitals in Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels, and is coordinated by the UZ Leuven.
“The aim of our study is to assess the extent to which administering antibodies from the plasma of recovered patients at an early stage reduces the need for respiratory assistance in patients with coronavirus,” said Professor Geert Meyfroidt, national coordinator of the study.
Treating patients with plasma from people who have recovered from the same infection is a method that has already proven successful for several other infectious diseases. The plasma of recovered patients contains antibodies to fight infections.
In early April, the Red Cross launched an appeal for plasma donations from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus. The aim is to select the most suitable donors, with the right antibodies in sufficient quantities in their plasma.
Candidate donors can apply via the covid19plasma.rodekruis.be website. 359 people with the right profile have already registered. At the start of May, the first coronavirus patients agreed to participate in the study.
“However, there are still many scientific questions to be resolved for this approach. That is why it is very important that our research is scientifically very well supported and well prepared. Our neighbouring countries are carrying out similar studies, and we plan to conduct the studies in the same way and analyse the results together on a European scale,” Meyfroidt added.
The Brussels Times