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.
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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.