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Convalescent plasma trials

Information about the two clinical trials: REMAP-CAP and RECOVERY

We are collecting plasma for two major clinical trials looking at treatments for COVID-19. Find out more about the research that is happening with convalescent plasma.

A plasma donor after donation
Male donors who were very unwell with coronavirus are proving to have the highest levels of antibodies

Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood taken from people who have recovered from COVID-19. This plasma may contain antibodies that their immune systems have produced in fighting the virus. These neutralising antibodies stop the virus getting into cells.

There is some evidence globally that COVID-19 patients may benefit from being given convalescent plasma. However, the safety and effectiveness of convalescent plasma transfusions need to be confirmed by robust clinical trials.

Two treatment trials are taking place to establish whether a range of potential treatments, including COVID-19 convalescent plasma, benefit patients and at what point in their illness they should be treated.

The NHSBT Clinical Trials Unit is responsible for the management of the convalescent plasma aspects of both trials. The trials are REMAP-CAP and RECOVERY.

The REMAP-CAP trial

The REMAP-CAP trial is an international trial into the best range of treatments for people with COVID-19. It is an adaptive trial which means different treatments can be added over time and patients can receive different treatments. 

The convalescent plasma treatment in this trial is for people who have been in intensive care for less than 48 hours and have tested positive for COVID-19.

Around 1,000 people who take part in the trial will receive plasma as part of their treatment. They will have two transfusions over two days and will monitored for 21 days to see how effective this is.

Hospitals around the UK are already participating.

Plasma bag
Convalescent plasma bag
This trial will assess whether these special plasma infusions can save lives and reduce the time people need to be on a ventilator.
Dr Lise Estcourt

Director of NHSBT Clinical Trials Unit and senior lecturer University of Oxford

The REMAP-CAP trial in intensive care patients is jointly led by:

  • Dr Lise Estcourt and Prof David Roberts - NHSBT Clinical Trials Unit and University of Oxford
  • Prof David Menon - University of Cambridge
  • Dr Manu Shankar Hari - Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London

Visit the REMAP-CAP trial website to find out more.

The RECOVERY trial

The RECOVERY trial aims to compare different treatments that may be useful for people with COVID-19.

In this trial, we are working on the effectiveness of convalescent plasma for treating patients with COVID-19 who are in hospital, but not in intensive care.

Around 2,500 people will receive plasma as part of the trial. Like the REMAP-CAP trial, they will receive two doses over two days.

Regular reviews of data from the trial will identify any effective treatments and help make that treatment available to all patients.


The RECOVERY trial is led by:

  • Prof Peter Horby - University of Oxford
  • Dr Lise Estcourt and Prof David Roberts - NHSBT Clinical Trials Unit and University of Oxford

Visit the RECOVERY trial website for more information.

Donor holding plasma bag
Donors have already given thousands of units of plasma for the trials

Share your story

If you have received a convalescent plasma transfusion, and you would like to share your story to encourage others to donate, please email story@nhsbt.nhs.uk

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