Technician-in-training Tatyana Villa prepares blood samples for testing at a nearby hospital in this 2019 file photo.

published on April 6, 2020 - 2:05 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The Central California Blood Center will be the first blood center in the United States to produce pathogen-reduced plasma from patients who have successfully recovered from the coronavirus.

This will provide local and national hospitals with pathogen-reduced, convalescent plasma for patients currently battling COVID-19. The experimental treatment has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used on an emergency basis. People who recover from the novel coronavirus infection have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. Transfusing the plasma that contains the antibodies into a person still fighting the virus can boost the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover.

“We look forward to being able to safely collect, process and pathogen reduce these plasma donations,” said Christopher Staub, president and CEO. “By following FDA guidance, OSHA safety standards and the very latest scientific evidence suggesting this could save lives, we’re looking to make rapid progress through approved research and specially FDA emergency-authorized use to fight against COVID-19.”

The Central California Blood Center is working closely with Cerus Corp., the Fresno County Department of Health and local hospitals to identify people who have recovered from COVID-19 to be potential donors.

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