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expert reaction to REMAP-CAP recruitment of severely ill COVID-19 patients into convalescent plasma trial being paused after initial analysis suggested it did not improve outcomes

It has been announced that the international trial of SARS-CoV-2 convalescent plasma, REMAP-CAP, has paused enrollment of critically ill COVID-19 patients, though recruitment will continue in patients with moderate disease.

 

Comment from NHS Blood and Transplant:

Dr Gail Miflin, Chief Medical Officer for NHSBT, said:

“NHSBT is proud to be participating in these world leading trials.

“REMAP-CAP is now in the analysis phase and is exploring whether subgroups of people in intensive care benefit from plasma.  The final results are not yet known.

“We urgently need people to continue donating thousands of units of plasma every week for the larger RECOVERY trial, which is using plasma from when people come into hospital.

“Antibodies work by stopping the virus, not by treating the symptoms.  The emerging evidence from international studies is that use before intensive care may prove to be more effective.

“We have to complete analysis of both trials to answer these questions.  We are continuing to expand our collection network, recruit staff, and recruit donors to enable both trials to report their full analysis.

“Thank you again to our staff, donors and hospitals for their commitment and participation in both trials, which are part of the national response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“You could save lives.”

 

Comments on use of convalescent plasma in the RECOVERY trial:

Prof Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, and Joint Chief Investigator for the RECOVERY trial, said:

“We don’t yet know if convalescent plasma works as a treatment for certain COVID patients, but if it does it would have a major impact worldwide.  Plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may help to speed up clearance of the virus from those who are suffering from the disease and improve their chances of recovery, particularly if they are treated before they become severely ill.

“RECOVERY is the world’s largest trial of convalescent plasma and we are close to getting an answer.  By volunteering to donate plasma, patients who have recovered from COVID-19 will ensure we complete the study and provide the evidence we need to improve care and save lives.”

 

Comments on use of convalescent plasma in the RECOVERY trial:

Prof Martin Landray, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, and Joint Chief Investigator for the RECOVERY trial, said:

“RECOVERY remains the largest trial of treatments in COVID-19, with over 26,000 participants to date including over 10,000 to the comparison of convalescent plasma versus usual NHS care alone.  The RECOVERY trial has already answered four important questions, most notably identifying the benefit of dexamethasone for patients requiring oxygen or ventilation.  At this very challenging time, we are incredibly grateful to the hard work of NHS staff and huge contribution made by patients across the whole country.  With their efforts, the RECOVERY trial will soon find out whether other treatments, such as convalescent plasma, are beneficial for patients in hospital.”

 

 

All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:

www.sciencemediacentre.org/tag/covid-19

 

 

Declared interests

Prof Peter Horby: “Chief Investigator of the RECOVERY trial.  The RECOVERY trial is supported by a grant to the University of Oxford from UK Research and Innovation and NIHR (MC_PC_19056 ).  Tocilizumab is being studied in RECOVERY.  Tocilizumab was provided free of charge for this study by Roche.  Lopinavir–ritonavir was provided free of charge for this study by Abbvie.  REGN-COV2 was provided free of charge for this study by Regeneron.

Employee of University of Oxford with salary supported by Wellcome Trust and NIHR.

I do not accept any personal honoraria payments directly or indirectly from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or food industries.

I hold no shares in and receive no consultancy payments directly or indirectly from tobacco, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or food companies.”

Prof Martin Landray: “Co-chief investigator of the RECOVERY trial of potential treatments for COVID-19 (funded by UKRI and NIHR; contributions to supply of study treatment from Abbvie, Roche, and Regeneron).

Research funding to University of Oxford received from Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Merck Sharp & Dohme.

Infrastructure and core funding received from Health Data Research UK, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, UK Biobank Ltd, MRC Population Health Research Unit, and British Heart Foundation Centre for Research Excellence.

Employee of University of Oxford with salary supported by Li Ka Shing Foundation, Health Data Research UK, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Wellcome Trust, and National Health Service.

I do not accept personal honoraria payments directly or indirectly from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or food industries although reimbursement to the University of Oxford for the costs of travel and accommodation to participate in scientific meetings may be accepted. I hold no shares in and receive no consultancy payments directly or indirectly from tobacco, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or food companies. I comply with the Independence of Research Policy of the Nuffield Department of Population Health, Universityy of Oxford. For details see: https://www.ndph.ox.ac.uk/files/about/ndph-independence-of-research-policy-jun-20.pdf/@@download.”

None others received.

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