The plasma treatment is an “anti-SARS-CoV2 hyperimmune immunoglobulin” made by dividing up only immune proteins with various antibodies taken from the plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients. The company won the regulatory nod for a phase-2 trial on the investigational treatment on Thursday.
GC Pharma said it would collect more plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients to accelerate the development of a Covid-19 treatment based on antibodies extracted from plasma. The company said it would collect recovered patients’ plasma from more blood donation centers in greater Seoul and Gangwon Province from Monday.
“With the expanded collection of plasma, we hope to accelerate our development of a Covid-19 treatment,” an official at GC Pharma said. GC Pharma is working on GC5131A, a Covid-19 plasma-based therapy, in collaboration with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute of Health. GC Pharma said it could collect plasma from 21 blood donation centers as of Monday.
So far, the company was unable to collect plasma from blood donation centers, run by the Korean Red Cross. However, to fight Covid-19, the Korean Red Cross and the health authorities were allowed to collect plasma from blood donation centers in May. Although the company secured plasma for the clinical study, it still needs a continued supply of plasma donations for further production after the trial to develop it as a treatment, the company said.
From Sept. 7, plasma collection will be available at 24 more blood donation centers in Chungcheong Province, Gangwon Province, and Gyeongsang Province. The company can collect plasma from 49 sites, including 45 blood donation centers and four existing hospitals – Korea University Ansan Hospital, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu Fatima Hospital, and Keimyung University Dongsan Hospital.
GC Pharma said it would operate a call center and a web page to help recover patients donate their plasma. Then, the company will relay a plasma donor’s information to the Korean Red Cross, which will help with the schedule for blood collection and the location of a nearby blood donation center. GC Pharma aims to complete the Covid-19 treatment development within the year and supply it for free.