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Minneapolis, Minn. – Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) is collaborating with the Mayo Clinic to engage in a clinical protocol using convalescent plasma as a therapeutic treatment for COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma has appeared to be of benefit for the treatment of certain infectious diseases, including infections from respiratory viruses. This clinical protocol seeks to understand if a similar benefit can be derived in response to COVID-19.

One of the ways that people fight off infectious diseases is by developing antibodies that lead to the destruction of the invading microorganism. The antibodies are present in the blood, and more specifically in the liquid portion of the blood called plasma. People who have recovered from being recently infected with COVID-19 can donate their plasma, which can then be given to individuals who are infected with the virus in order to try to help their immune system eliminate it.

Anne Frosch, MD, MPH, and Jason Baker, MD, MS, are Principal Investigators on the protocol.

“Currently, there are very few therapeutic options for COVID-19. Preliminary evidence indicates that convalescent plasma may be beneficial for some patients with COVID-19 illness because plasma from recovered patients contains antibodies that may help fight the disease,” said Dr. Frosch.

The Program for Immune Therapy and Immunology at Hennepin Healthcare will combine the study of novel immune treatments for COVID-19, as well as characterizing patient’s immune responses to the virus with the goal of developing vaccine strategies.

“Patients can benefit because it can give them early access to new treatments that are not yet available to the general public,” said Dr. Baker. “Our entire community can benefit if we discover more effective ways to treat and prevent this unprecedented infection.”

 

Plasma Donation

HHRI is partnering with Memorial Blood Centers to collect plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 to use in the convalescent plasma clinical protocol. Donor qualifications:

  1. You have a lab-confirmed positive test for COVID-19 virus, OR a positive recovery test showing immunity.
  2. Your symptoms have been gone for at least 14 days.
  3. You are willing to donate plasma (you will be contacted to ensure you meet FDA donor eligibility requirements).

If you meet these qualifications, fill out the Convalescent Plasma COVID-19 Donor Request Form on Memorial Blood Centers’ website at https://www.mbc.org/donate-blood/convalescent-plasma-covid-19-donor-request-form/ to become a donor.

 

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COVID-19 Research Project: Investigating the Immunology of Convalescent Plasma FAQs

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About the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute

Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) is the research arm and a nonprofit subsidiary of Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., an integrated healthcare system that includes HCMC, a nationally recognized Level 1 Trauma Center and acute care and teaching hospital. HHRI is one of the largest nonprofit medical research organizations in Minnesota and consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of all institutions receiving research funding from the National Institutes of Health. For more information about research at HHRI, visit hhrinstitute.org.

 

Media Contact:

Susan O’Reilly
Corporate Communications Manager
Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute
soreilly@hhrinstitute.org
612.873.5321

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