Covid-19 Convalescent Plasma


Commission supports blood services to increase COVID-19 convalescent plasma collection

The European Commission has selected 24 projects that will build new programmes, or expand existing ones, for the collection of plasma from donors recovered from COVID-19. The plasma donations will be used for the treatment of patients with the disease. These grants are the outcome of an invitation sent last July to all public and non-profit blood services around the EU, and in the UK, to apply for funding for the purchase of equipment for plasma collection. This action is financed through the Emergency Support Instrument, for a total of €36 million. The projects, which will take place in 14 Member States* and the UK, are national or regional and will, in most cases, involve distribution of funds down to large numbers of local blood or plasma collection centres (over 150 in total).

The grants will support the purchase of a number of plasmapheresis machines and associated equipment, including collection kits, storage equipment, laboratory testing and characterisation of plasma and organisational changes within blood centres. Applications were received from 14 Member States, and the UK, and projects have been accepted for funding in all of those countries.

The treatment involves convalescent plasma being transfused to sick patients to boost their immunity and ability to fight the virus. It can also be provided to industry for the purification of antibodies to make a COVID-19 medicinal product (immunoglobin).

The efficacy of both of these approaches is being investigated worldwide, including in EU research projects funded by Horizon 2020, examples of which can be seen: www.support-e.eu and covidantibodytherapy.info .