CSL consortium to make plasma against coronavirus

Australian biotech giant CSL has formed a consortium with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company to develop a potential plasma therapy to fight coronavirus.

The alliance, which also brings together leading biomedical manufacturers Biotest, BPL Medical Technologies, LFB and Octapharma, will leverage expertise within each company to develop trials.

CSL Behring’s executive vice president and head of research and development Bill Mezzanotte said the companies will collaborate with governments and pool together industry resources to support activities such as clinical trials.

“This effort aims to accelerate a reliable, scalable and sustainable option for caregivers to treat patients suffering from the impact of COVID-19,” he said.

Developing a hyperimmune will require plasma donation from many individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19, and whose blood contains antibodies that can fight the novel coronavirus.

The “convalescent” plasma, when collected, would then be transported to manufacturing facilities for proprietary processing, including effective virus inactivation and removal processes, and then purified into the product.

Takeda’s president of plasma business unit Julie Kim said a collective industry approach would bring a therapy to the market more quickly and also increase potential supplies.

The consortium has invited companies and institutions working on plasma to join the alliance.