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US halts trial of Covid-19 convalescent plasma

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Washington, March 3 : The US’ National Institutes of Health (NIH) has halted a clinical trial evaluating the safety and effectiveness of Covid-19 convalescent plasma in treating emergency department patients who develop mild to moderate symptoms.
An independent data and safety monitoring board met for the second planned interim analysis of the trial data, and determined that while the convalescent plasma intervention caused no harm, it was unlikely to benefit this group of patients, the NIH said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Launched in August 2020, the trial was being conducted at 47 hospital emergency departments across the US and had enrolled over 500 participants, Xinhua news agency reported.
Covid-19 convalescent plasma is blood plasma derived from patients who have recovered from the virus. It contains antibodies, or special proteins, generated by the body’s immune system to fight the disease.
More than 100,000 people in the US and many more worldwide have already been treated with it since the pandemic began, according to the NIH.
The trial reviewed the effectiveness of Covid-19 convalescent plasma in adults who came to an emergency department with mild to moderate symptoms they had for a week or less. These patients also had at least one risk factor associated with severe Covid-19, such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, or chronic lung disease, but none were ill enough at the time to be hospitalised.

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