The West Bengal government in collaboration with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is set to commence clinical trials of convalescent plasma therapy with the objective of treating COVID-19 patients in the city, after the Drug Control General of India gave its approval for the joint effort, an official said on Saturday.
The purpose of the clinical trials is to understand the efficacy of blood plasma of a recovered COVID-19 patient in the treatment of others suffering from the disease, he said.
The trails are likely to start at the newly-constructed Critical Care Unit (CCU) of the Beliaghata ID Hospital next week, he said.
"The CCU unit of the Beliaghata ID Hospital is almost ready and the clinical trials of the convalescent plasma therapy may start next week," the official told PTI.
The CCU unit of the hospital has 16 beds, he said. The trials, funded and supported by the CSIR, will have senior doctors like Yogiraj Roy, Biswanath Sharma Biswas and Shekhar Ranjan Paul as the clinical investigators, he said.
The therapy involves taking antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from COVID-19 and transfusing those antibodies into an active coronavirus patient to help the immune system to fight the infection.
To begin with, willing plasma donors will be screened to select those eligible for donation.