Biotechnology giant CSL has begun development of a blood-derived treatment for Covid-19, known as COVID-19 Immunoglobulin.
The Melbourne company believes the product could be used to treat people seriously ill with the complications caused by the virus, particularly those whose illness is progressing towards the need for ventilation.
The treatment will be derived from blood plasma donated by recovered patients infected with Covid-19, collected by the Australian Red Cross.
The antibodies in the blood produced by the body to fight the virus infection will be separated at the CSL Behring Australia advanced manufacturing facility in Broadmeadows, Victoria
An estimated 800 plasma donations are required to make sufficient COVID-19 Immunoglobulin to treat 50 to 100 people seriously ill with COVID-19 complications within the clinical trial.
It is understood the company plans clinical trials in Australia.
CSL is the world’s second largest producer of blood derived products such as those used to treat haemophilia and has a global blood collection network.
The revelation was not made by CSL, nor the Red Cross, but revealed by federal health minister Greg Hunt in a media release.
Hunt said: “Australia’s world-class scientists, medical researchers and biotechnology companies continue to play an important role during the COVID-19 crisis.”
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