you are here: HomeNewsIndia
Last Updated : Oct 21, 2020 03:41 PM IST | Source: PTI

Coronavirus treatment: Centre may remove plasma therapy from COVID-19 clinical management protocol

A randomised controlled trial, led by the ICMR, has shown that plasma therapy does not reduce mortality or prevent progression of COVID-19 from moderate to severe.

PTI
Representative image
Representative image

The Centre is considering to remove convalescent plasma therapy from the national clinical management protocol for COVID-19, a top ICMR official said on October 20. Presently, the use of off-label convalescent plasma for treating COVID-19 patients in the moderate stage of the illness is allowed under "investigational therapies".

However, a randomised controlled trial, led by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), on 464 patients in 39 hospitals in 25 districts across 14 states and UTs has shown that plasma therapy does not reduce mortality or prevent progression of COVID-19 from moderate to severe.

At a press conference, ICMR Director-General Balaram Bhargava said, "We have had discussions in the national taskforce and we are in discussion with the joint monitoring group that this (convalescent plasma therapy) may be deleted from the national guidelines. The discussion is ongoing and more or less we are reaching towards that."

Close

He was responding to a query on continued use of plasma therapy despite the ICMR-led controlled trail revealing otherwise, the result of which has been public.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

The 'open-label parallel-arm phase II multicentre randomized controlled trial' (PLACID Trial) was conducted between April 22 to July 14 to investigate the effectiveness of convalescent plasma for treatment of COVID-19.

Track this LIVE blog for all the latest updates on coronavirus pandemic

The therapy involves taking anti-bodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from COVID-19 and transfusing those into a COVID-19 patient to help kickstart the immune system to fight the infection.

On the interim results of WHO Solidarity Trial indicating four repurposed drugs for COVID-19, including remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine, have little or no effect on reducing mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay, Bhargava said debate and discussion were ongoing at the National Taskforce and at the Joint Monitoring Group, and advisories would be issued accordingly.

"WHO solidarity trial is a 30-country trial in which India has been a participant. Interim results of this have been put on a website, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.

"However, we find that these drugs are not performing as we had expected. Debate and discussion are ongoing at the National Taskforce and Joint Monitoring group and we will take into cognizance the results of this trial and issue advisories accordingly," he said.

Remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens were tested in 405 hospitals of 30 countries covering 11,266 adults to look into the effects of these treatments on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay. The trial was conducted from March 22 to October 4.

"Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir and Interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on hospitalized COVID-19, as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay," the study which appeared on medRxiv, a preprint server, on October 15 said.

The trial findings are set to be published in the British Medical Journal.

Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of COVID-19 outbreak 
First Published on Oct 21, 2020 03:37 pm
Sections