Healthcare organizations are working on a number of different types of treatments for COVID-19, repurposing old drugs, as well as developing new ones. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that it's working on developing a new type of treatment using the blood of patients who have successfully recovered from the virus.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said during a White House press briefing that the agency has been experimenting with the possibility of using donated blood plasma from recovered patients to develop a treatment. These antibodies, which are introduced into a patient once the platelets and cells have been filtered out, can boost said patient's immune system and help fight against a pathogen as a short-term treatment.
Hahn went on to say that his agency would keep in touch with regards to this type of treatment. Should it prove to be a success, which seems quite possible, it would provide COVID-19 patients with a short-term treatment that can help manage symptoms until an alternative is developed.
Biotech companies in the private sector have announced their own blood-based COVID-19 treatment candidates, as well. Takeda Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:TAK) announced earlier in March that the company is testing a plasma-derived therapy in patients who are at high risk of dying from the virus.
Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS) also announced two new potential COVID-19 treatments that are also based on human plasma antibodies. The company has already started collection efforts and expects to start clinical trials in Q3 2020.