NIH halts convalescent plasma trial in patients with moderate COVID-19 symptoms

The National Institutes of Health said March 2 it has halted a clinical trial testing convalescent plasma as a treatment in emergency room patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms and at least one risk factor for developing severe illness from the virus. 

The NIH said an independent data and safety-monitoring board determined that, though the treatment didn't cause any harm, it likely had no benefit to the specific patient group. The board recommended the NIH stop enrolling new patients in the study. 

Convalescent plasma is derived from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and developed antibodies against the virus. It's infused in COVID-19 patients with an active infection. 

Researchers had hoped it would help generate an immune response and help patients recover from the virus faster. The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the treatment in August. 

The FDA last month revised and reissued the emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma, limiting its use to hospitalized patients early in the course of the disease and those with a medical condition that impairs their ability to make antibodies. 

The NIH trial was conducted at 47 hospital emergency departments nationwide and had enrolled 511 patients. It included only COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms and at least one risk factor for developing serious illness, such as obesity, heart disease or diabetes.

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People with allergic reactions to Pfizer, Moderna vaccines can get J&J shot as second dose, CDC scientist says

 

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