An Iranian deputy health minister says the country has launched the world’s largest plasma therapy project by transfusing antibody-rich blood into COVID-19 patients.
Speaking at a daily online press conference on Wednesday, Deputy Health Minister Qassem Janbabaei said the world’s largest plasma therapy project for the treatment of coronavirus patients is underway in Iran.
The greatest number of studies and clinical trials for plasma therapy has been carried in Iran, he added.
The first phase of the study has involved 60 patients, while the data on 150 other patients has been also collected, the deputy minister noted.
Janbabaei said the trial stage has yielded good results so far.
“We should wait for the complete results of the research in the provinces,” he added, noting that the project is running suitably considering that there are always a large number of blood donors in Iran.
“If plasma therapy yields results, it will be an inexpensive method of treatment,” he concluded.
When a person has COVID-19, their immune system responds by creating antibodies, which attack the virus. Over time these build up and can be found in the plasma, the liquid portion of the blood.
In theory, these antibodies could be taken from a recovered COVID-19 patient, and infused into someone recently infected with the virus.