France is to begin clinical trials involving transfusions of blood plasma from coronavirus survivors into patients who have severe symptoms in a bid to treat the illness, the institutions involved said Saturday.
Plasma, the fluid in blood teeming with antibodies post-illness, has already proven effective in small studies to treat infectious diseases including Ebola and SARS.
The French trials are to start on Tuesday, according to a joint statement from the Paris hospital authority AP-HP, the national medical research institute INSERM, and the national blood service EFS.
“This clinical trial involves the transfusion of plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, containing antibodies against the virus, and who could transfer this immunity to a patient suffering from COVID-19,” it said.
“The plasma of the people who have recovered contains these antibodies that their organisms have developed. These antibodies could help patients in an acute stage of the disease to fight the virus.”
The trials will involve 60 patients in Paris hospitals, half of whom will receive the plasma from the persons who have recovered.
It said the first results could be known two to three weeks after the trials.
The US Food and Drug Administration has already authorized physicians to experiment with the strategy to fight the coronavirus. Tests are also being done in China.
France’s cafes, restaurants reopen, but in Paris, only the terraces
French people head back to their beloved cafes and restaurants Tuesday after weeks cooped up in coronavirus confinement, marking a further step towards normality.
As thousands thronged parks and gardens reopened over the weekend, eating and drinking establishments prepared to welcome back customers in the second phase of a step-by-step lifting of lockdown.
"We have spent several hours cleaning," said Theo Stuzmann, head waiter of the renowned Maison Kammerzell restaurant in Strasbourg, eastern France.
And a second, more thorough disinfection was due before they opened on Tuesday, he told AFP.
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