Grifols Biomat USA is looking for donors from people who have recovered from COVID-19 to produce a hyperimmune globulin medication for the use of treating COVID-19 patients. The company would produce the medication and need approval from the FDA.
“For individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, donating plasma at one of Grifols’ donor centers to produce a potential treatment for the disease is a way they can help make a difference during this exceptional time,” according to Dr. Marilyn Rosa-Bray, Grifols Chief Medical Officer and Vice President Quality, Regulatory Compliance & Laboratories. “This hyperimmune globulin would offer treating physicians a predictable and consistent dosing of the antibody against the virus that causes COVID-19.”
Grifols is partnering with the FDA, the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research Authority, NIAID and other health agencies to support the clinical trial and study necessary to ensure the new medication is effective against the virus.
Vlasta Hakes, a Grifols spokesperson, said those who wish to participate will be compensated at the normal rate for their time and are encouraged to donate more than once. There is a pre-screening process before accepting plasma donations. For more information on how to donate visit their website at www.grifolsplasma.com.
Hakes said plasma will be collected at both Rexburg locations and then brought across the country to a manufacturing facility in North Carolina that is already equipped to create medicine. They are hoping to have the first batch of medicine, working with the FDA and other agencies to have it tested and out to physicians as soon as possible.
Hakes said she wasn’t sure of how much the medicine would sell for as they are focused currently on acquiring the needed plasma.
“Regarding the commercialization/distribution of the product – as I had mentioned. We are focused on demonstrating the efficacy of hyperimmune globulins to treat COVID-19 as one part of the global response to the pandemic,” she said. “We are not focused on the commercialization of the product… We are partnered with BARDA due to their scientific rigor and as an avenue for working with government agencies. We have done similar work as this during the Ebola epidemic where we produced a hyperimmune globulin for Ebola as part of the humanitarian effort. This is no different.”