NHS Blood and Transplant resumes convalescent plasma collection on a small scale

17 January 2022

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is again collecting plasma donations for coronavirus research, on a smaller scale, to support the REMAP-CAP trial.

Plasma donationREMAP-CAP is an ongoing platform trial, which had an arm trialling the treatment of COVID patients in intensive care with convalescent plasma.

Convalescent plasma is the antibody rich plasma of people who have had the coronavirus.

The REMAP-CAP and RECOVERY trials both found convalescent plasma did not provide any benefit to the overall patient group.

However detailed analysis within subgroups of the REMAP-CAP data found there was a likelihood that people who are immunosuppressed may benefit from convalescent plasma with very high antibody levels.

There was not enough data for a definite result. Several other small studies have also indicated there may be a benefit to immunosuppressed patients when they receive very high levels of antibodies.

As a result, REMAP-CAP has now decided to reopen the convalescent plasma arm to collect more data.

NHSBT is again supporting REMAP-CAP and this time we will only be supplying very high antibody donations, with antibody levels more than 10 times those used previously.

We will supply a mix of new donations and units held in stock that were found to have the very high antibody level.

NHSBT welcomes this chance to again support world leading trials into potential coronavirus treatments.

We will be able to identify donors from within our existing donor base, and we are not making a public appeal for donors this time around. Donations are being taken in our Birmingham centre.