BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New research by Johns Hopkins will look at blood plasma therapy to treat positive coronavirus patients.

Bloomberg Philanthropies, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Johns Hopkins University announced Friday a joint effort to fund research into the potential therapeutic uses of convalescent plasma to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients.

The research is led by Arturo Casadevall, an infectious disease expert and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor.

Researchers hope to use the technique to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients and boost the immune systems of health care providers and first responders. Currently, there are no proven drug therapies or effective vaccines for treating COVID-19.

Casadevall and his team believe that using plasma from recovered viral positive patients could provide immediate immunity to the most at-risk individuals.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

The funding consists of a $3 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, in addition to $1 million in backing from the state of Maryland.

At Johns Hopkins, the research team plans to measure the effectiveness of COVID-19 convalescent plasma and monitor the safety of this therapy in a randomized clinical trial for both treatment of COVID-19 positive patients at all stages of disease progression.

The FDA announced Tuesday that it is making it easier for doctors to use the experimental treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Currently, there are nearly 93,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with more than 566,000 across the globe.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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