PH plasma study hoped to boost global search for cure.
MALACANANG on Saturday expressed optimism about the study on the convalescent plasma transfusion as treatment for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) would yield “positive results.”
“We hope this study will yield positive results and be our country's contribution to the global effort to develop COVID-19 treatment,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Roque issued the statement on Saturday night, as he noted that the Palace welcomes the start of the government-funded study on the use of convalescent blood plasma as one of the modes of therapy for Covid-19.
Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña announced that the clinical study of the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) on convalescent plasma transfusion as possible adjunctive therapy to prevent COVID-19 progression already started on Wednesday.
Adjunctive therapy is a treatment used to support the main or primary treatment of diseases.
As definite therapy for COVID-19 is still lacking, the clinical study aims to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of convalescent plasma transfusion as adjunctive therapy for the novel coronavirus.
Convalescent plasma is taken from COVID-19 patients’ blood who recovered from the highly-infectious disease and contains neutralizing antibodies against the new coronavirus.
Roque said the UP-PGH’s ongoing study would be funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
“The use of convalescent plasma as adjunctive therapy for patients hospitalized for COVID-19 is being undertaken by the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital, with funding support from the DOST,” he said.
As of Saturday, the Philippines has reported 41,830 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 11,453 recoveries and 1,290 deaths.
Michael Ryan, executive director of World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, earlier said the use of convalescent plasma is a valid approach in treating infectious diseases.
Ryan said this was done in previous outbreaks such as the H1N1 influenza virus pandemic, 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, and the 2012 MERS-CoV epidemic.
The Philippines started the call for blood donations from Covid-19 survivors in April.
The study on the convalescent plasma transfusion will run for 12 months, DOST earlier said. PNA