Setback for Covid medicine: More blood plasma donors needed
Blood bank Sanquin encountered a setback in its collection of blood plasma for the production of a medicine to treat Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. The amount of antibodies in the plasma is declining faster than hoped for. Which means that the blood bank will need more donors to donate more quickly to get the required amount of antibodies-rich plasma, AD reports.
Sanquin planned to recruit 16 thousand donors, who would together donate 50 thousand times. That was supposed to yield 30 thousand kilograms of plasma containing antibodies against Covid-19, from which a medicine against the coronavirus could be produced. The government made 10 million euros available for this project.
The blood bank succeeded in recruiting its 16 thousand donors, but they are donating less often than hoped for and not all donations are suitable for use. "We received 20 thousand donations," a spokesperson for the blood bank said to AD. "That yielded 8 thousand to 9 thousand kilos of blood plasma, but some of that is still going to be dropped."
In some donors, the antibodies against the coronavirus disappeared quickly from their blood. This is not immediately a concern for immunity, but is a concern for the production of medicines, microbiology professor Hans Zaaijer said to the newspaper. "We need plasma with a high antibody content for the production of medicines. We expected that the amount of antibodies would be very high for longer."