Baylor recruiting volunteers for COVID-19 blood plasma trials
Baylor College of Medicine is seeking volunteers to participate in two clinical trials to test the effectiveness of convalescent blood plasma for outpatient COVID-19 intervention.
The trials aim to recruit 1,100 people from across the country to help researchers determine if convalescent blood plasma therapy can effectively be used to treat people in the early stages of COVID-19 illness or prevent the infection in those who have had a high risk exposure to the virus at their homes or jobs.
“We hope that this study will show the effectiveness of convalescent blood plasma in treating COVID-19 outpatients and in preventing infection in healthy patients. If successful, this treatment could provide more therapeutic options for future patients,” said Dr. Yuriko Fukuta, assistant professor of medicine – infectious diseases at Baylor.
The trials involve a transfusion of a blood product from COVID-19 survivors that contains antibodies that may help the patient’s immune system fight the virus. People who may be eligible for the prevention trial are those who have been exposed to COVID-19 in their home or at work. For the companion trial, participants must be diagnosed with early COVID-19 disease, meaning they are within eight days of their first symptoms but are not sick enough to be in a hospital. All participants must be over age 18. Volunteers will be compensated.
Participants will receive one IV infusion of the convalescent plasma that contains antibodies for COVID-19 or placebo plasma that does not contain the antibodies at an outpatient facility, which usually takes about an hour. As part of the trials, participants who have been exposed to the virus will be evaluated over four weeks for development of COVID-19 infection, including symptom checks and laboratory testing for the virus and antibodies.
Participants with COVID-19 will be monitored over four weeks to determine the course of the disease and its severity. The researchers will examine the long-term immunity of both groups at three months after infusion with convalescent or placebo plasma.
Those interested in participating in either of the trials should call 888-506-1199 or visit www.CovidPlasmaTrial.org to take an eligibility survey and submit their contact information to the recruitment team. Experts at Johns Hopkins are leading the nationwide trials.