Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center today announced it’s selection as one of 51 U.S. sites to participate in a one-year study led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center of convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19.
The study, Passive Immunity Trial for Our Nation (PassItOn), is funded through a $34 million grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 is currently being used throughout the country to treat people who are seriously ill with COVID-19. However, there have been only two randomized, controlled clinical trials and both were ended early without definitive results.
Dr. Hollis O’Neal, OLOL medical director of research, and Dr. Christopher Thomas, OLOL medical director of patient quality and safety, are co-investigators for PassItOn.
The randomized, controlled trial will test whether infusions of convalescent plasma, the liquid part of blood collected from those recovered COVID-19 individuals, can help other hospitalized patients with COVID-19. This type of plasma contains antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Convalescent plasma has been used for more than a century to treat a wide variety of infections, including pneumonia, meningitis, measles, influenza and Ebola, but without clear evidence of safety and effectiveness.