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Coronavirus patients to be treated with plasma from recovered donors

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Australians who have beaten COVID-19 are being asked to donate their plasma to help patients who are seriously ill with the virus.

Recovered donors’ plasma is thought to contain high levels of protective antibodies that could be harnessed to fight the disease.

Biotech giant CSL will purify and concentrate the plasma to make COVID-19 immunoglobulin, which will be distributed to ill patients through a clinical trial.

“Your body mounts an immune response and produces antibodies when you become infected,” CSL’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Charmaine Gittleson explained on Sunrise.

“We will extract the antibodies and can give them to people who are ill in hospital whose bodies are not producing enough antibodies.”

“What we hope is it will help them recover faster and they won’t get worse and end up on a ventilator or in ICU.”

About 800 plasma donations are needed to treat 50 to 100 severely ill people.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has said while it was not a “guarantee” cure, it was “promising” and part of the broader research into vaccines and treatment being undertaken in Australia.

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