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Blood plasma treatment for COVID-19 to be tested

As part of a landmark trial, a new treatment is being tested at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust with the support of King’s College London.

The treatment, known as ‘convalescent plasma’, is being tested at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust as a treatment for patients who are severely ill with COVID-19.

This is part of the national priority trial REMAP-CAP, an international trial testing different treatments for patients who are severely ill with COVID-19, supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust research is playing a key part in halting the current pandemic, by identifying and testing COVID-19 treatments and diagnostics.

Dr Manu Shankar HariThe ‘convalescent plasma’ treatment involves blood plasma donations from patients who have recovered from COVID-19. This plasma is transfused into COVID-19 patients whose bodies are not producing enough of their own antibodies against the virus, to support the patients fighting the disease.

The trial is co-led by Dr Manu Shankar-Hari, a consultant in intensive care medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust [pictured right], along with experts from NHS Blood and Transplant and the University of Cambridge.

The research lab run by Dr Shankar-Hari within the King’s College London School of Immunology and Microbial Sciences, is coordinating the underpinning science behind the convalescent plasma treatment.

Dr Shankar-Hari, who is also an NIHR Clinician Scientist and Reader and Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine at King’s College London, said:

At the moment, there is no proven treatment for COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is a promising treatment that could help patients whose bodies aren’t producing enough antibodies to curb the disease. This trial will help us understand whether the treatment should be used more widely to treat COVID-19.
We are incredibly grateful to all the patients who are taking part in our COVID-19 trials and their families. At a difficult time for them, our patients are taking part in studies that will help us to understand more about how to treat the condition.

To find out more about our research, including our work on COVID-19, visit the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust Research pages.

The King’s Health Partners Allergy, Respiratory, Critical Care, Anaesthetics and Pain Clinical Academic Group have world class specialist clinics in interstitial lung disease, sleep, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.