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Bengaluru HCG Hospital gets Centre’s nod to conduct plasma therapy trials for COVID-19

Home / HCG in News / Bengaluru HCG Hospital gets Centre’s nod to conduct plasma therapy trials for COVID-19

   April 22, 2020

Convalescent plasma therapy is being deployed as an experimental treatment for COVID-19 patients with the plasma harvested from the blood donated from recovered patients.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has granted the Karnataka state government to begin clinical trials for the use of plasma therapy to treat COVID-19.

Bengaluru-based HCG Hospital has received the Centre’s nod to conduct clinical trials on patients to evaluate the efficacy of convalescent plasma transfusion therapy in COVID-19 treatment on human patients, the Karnataka minister for Education, Suresh Kumar, announced in a press conference on Tuesday.

“HCG cancer hospital has received a grant from Directorate General of Healthcare Services (DGHS), Government of India to begin the clinical trials of proposed convalescent plasma therapy,” said the hospital spokesperson in a statement.

Convalescent plasma therapy is being deployed as an experimental treatment for COVID-19 patients with the plasma harvested from the blood donated from recovered patients.

“The idea behind this therapy is that a person’s immunity can be transferred from a healthy person to a sick patient using convalescent plasma. This therapy uses the antibodies created through from the blood of a recovered coronavirus patient to treat another critical patient,” said HCG’s Associate dean Vishal Rao.

According the permission granted for the clinical trials, Drugs Controller General of India VG Somani, the licensing authority for the therapy, listed a total of 19 conditions in his sanction order that HCG hospital needs to meet in order to carry out plasma therapy evaluation.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa congratulated the hospital’s dean Vishal Rao and the others in his team for receiving permission for the clinical trial.

“Congrats to B. S. Ajai Kumar, Rao, Jyothsna and Gururaj Rao and everyone involved (in the trails) for receiving the okay from the Centre to begin testing on their ‘plasma therapy’,” he said in a tweet. “This is undoubtedly of significant importance for us all. Thank you and good luck HCG,” he added.

The Indian Council of Medical Research had, on April 12, called for intent from institutes interested in a randomized controlled study to assess the safety and efficacy of plasma therapy for COVID-19. ICMR received an overwhelming response of 99 applications. Those participating in the study would have to follow protocols approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee, a registered body of the Institute of Public Health-Delhi , recognised by the Drug Controller General of India.

Earlier this month, Kerala had become the first state in India to receive a nod from the ICMR to begin trials for convalescent plasma transfusion therapy. Gujarat and Punjab have also reportedly started using the treatment for COVID-19 patients. Similar trials will start in Ahmedabad as well, where SVP Hospital signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ICMR to carry out plasma therapy clinical trials.

The first patient in India to be administered plasma therapy was a 49-year-old man who was given the treatment at Max hospital in Saket, New Delhi. He is reportedly off ventilator support now.

Plasma therapy has previously been used to treat Ebola virus and during the Spanish influenza pandemic.

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