Takeda-led COVID-19 plasma product to begin trial this month

FILE PHOTO: Takeda Pharmaceutical Co's logo is seen at its new headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - An experimental COVID-19 therapy using blood plasma, developed by Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co and its partners, is scheduled to begin a late-stage clinical trial after initial delays.

The study, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the United States, is seeking to recruit 500 participants from the United States, Britain, Argentina and Denmark, according to posting on a website run by the U.S. government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIAID is an institute of the NIH.

The study, due to begin this month, seeks to compare outcomes from the plasma product to those from the drug Remdesivir and a placebo.

The Takeda-led group, known as the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance, had originally sought to begin trials in July. A Takeda representative said further questions about the study should be directed to the NIAID.

The institute did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The alliance, which includes Biotest AG, CSL Behring, and Octapharma Plasma, is working on a hyperimmune globulin therapy derived from convalescent plasma. It offers a standardized dose of antibodies and does not need to be limited to patients with matching blood types.

Clinical supplies of the treatment were produced at Takeda’s facility in the U.S. state of Georgia and at CSL Behring’s facility in Bern, Switzerland.

Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Robert Birsel