Late-stage study of COVID-19 convalescent-plasma treatment with remdesivir starts

FILE PHOTO: An ampule of Ebola drug Remdesivir is pictured during a news conference at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, Germany, April 8, 2020, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. Ulrich Perrey/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - A late-stage trial testing the combination of Gilead Sciences' GILD.O remdesivir and a highly concentrated solution of antibodies that neutralize the COVID-19 virus has begun, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Thursday.

Trial investigators believe that giving the antibody solution to COVID-19 patients at the onset of symptoms could heighten the natural antibody response to the virus, thereby reducing the risk of severe illness and death. (

Emergent BioSolutions EBS.N, Grifols S.A., CSL Behring and Takeda Pharmaceutical 4502.T are collaborating to supply the antibody solution, NIH said.

The study, which is testing the antibody solution made up with convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, is being conducted with hospitalized adults in the United States, Mexico and sixteen other countries.

The main goal of the trial will be to compare the health status of the patients receiving the combination treatment with those on remdesivir only, after a week.

Reporting by Trisha Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli